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Instagram has a confirmed bug that is causing some users to lose a significant number of followers.
In addition to losing followers, the number of accounts users are following back is also going down in some cases.

so I just lost like 4K on Instagram and it unfollowed like 100 people within a matter of minutes? what’s going on 😩
like I’m not mad about my follower count cause I’d rather have less spam followers and better engagement but like why is it unfollowing people?!
— stephanie duran (@ItsSteephh) February 13, 2019

why did I just lose over half a million followers @instagram wyd sis
— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 13, 2019

INSTAGRAM FOLLOWER CULL 📉
Last night Instagram removed inactive / bot accounts from all accounts, globally.
I’ve woken up to an inbox full of messages from concerned people / influences and brands who have in some cases, lost millions of followers while they were asleep!🤭😅 pic.twitter.com/ItUXqqmwQT
— Steve Bartlett (@stevebartlettsc) February 13, 2019

The company acknowledged the issue and said it’s working on a fix.

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.
— Instagram (@instagram) February 13, 2019

Instagram tweeted another update roughly 12 hours later saying it’s expecting to have the issue resolved by 9 am PST (12 pm EST) on Thursday.
At the time of this writing, Thursday at 1 pm EST, there has been no further update and no sign of the issue being resolved.
It’s being speculated this issue is related to the fake follower purge that Instagram announced last year. However, that has not been confirmed.
If the issue is connected to the fake follower purge the company likely would have said so, rather than say it’s working on a fix.
I will update this story if and when Instagram confirms a fix has been implemented.

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