An Instagram bug that surfaced on the 13th February still hasn’t been fully solved and has caused many accounts to lose a lot of followers.
What Was the Bug?
On the 13th February several Instagram users with a significant following were tweeting about how they had lost a huge number of followers in a matter of minutes. Despite being usually very quick to address issues/bugs, the social media giants Instagram took over 12 hours to reply to this issue and only replied with:
“We’re aware of an issue that is causing a change in account follower numbers for some people right now. We’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
Users accepted this and a further reply from Instagram deemed that the bug would be fixed by 9 am the next day. However, it seems the problem is still occurring in a lot of accounts.
Why is this an Issue?
Now you’re probably thinking “So what? It’s only a few followers it doesn’t mean anything.” This may be the case for the ordinary Instagram user with a few hundred followers. Although, if Instagram has a business account then this could become a huge problem.
If the business account loses followers without other users actually unfollowing them, then inevitably they are going to lose out on customers. Customers who still think they follow the account but don’t now due to this bug will miss out on deals, partnerships etc that were posted on the business’ Instagram feed. As a result, the businesses will lose out on sales.
Impact on Advertising
Another issue that has occurred from this Instagram bug is that advertising has taken a hit. Since Instagram rose to become one of the biggest social media platforms in 2018, companies have found success by advertising their products on the popular platform. They do this by paying “influencers” to showcase their products to their mass following. The mass following then views the ad post, sees that their idol likes this product and that they should buy it too, increasing sales for the company. This is called “Influencer marketing” and is the most popular form of advertising on Instagram.
However due to the Instagram bug, many influencers have lost a significant number of followers. Instagram influencer James Charles reported that he had lost half a million followers! See the tweet below.
‘why did I just lose over half a million followers’ – @jamescharles on Twitter.
If influencers are losing these many followers, then surely their product ads will not gain as many views as they once did. Therefore, the company advertising their products will also lose out on sales. Will this concern companies and make “Influencer marketing” unappealing?
Has This Bug Been Fixed?
Instagram tweeted on the 13th February that they would have the issue resolved by 9am the next day, see the tweet below.
‘Update: we’re expecting to have this issue resolved by 9 a.m. PST tomorrow. We understand this is frustrating, and our team is hard at work to get things back to normal.’ – Instagram.
However, many users still haven’t gained their following back and have complained numerous times to Instagram, yet they still have not tweeted about this issue since. There may be a reason for this though.
Back in 2018 Instagram said they were going to crack down on “Fake Followers”, by removing any account that had been inactive for a period of time. Many people called this the “Instagram Purge” and were worried their Instagram status could be diminished.
When the followers started to drop last week, many thought the “Instagram Purge” was taking place. If this was the case though, why would Instagram label it as a “bug” rather than announcing they were deleting inactive accounts.
Is Instagram trying to keep this a secret? Are businesses about to drop sales?
These are the questions that need answering. If you have any comments about these issues let us know!
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