Justin Bieber has received the social media equivalent of a lump of coal in his stocking.
The Biebs, his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and other big names lost thousands — and in some cases more than a million — Instagram followers in one fell swoop Thursday, as the company deleted inactive, fake, and spam accounts. Instagram announced last week that it would be making the move after reaching 300 million total users.
Bieber, who was previously the most followed person on the photo sharing site, lost more than 3.5 million followers in the so-called "Instagram Rapture," to bring him to a total of 20 million. His losses meant that Kardashian, who had been right on his heels before the spammers were removed, surpassed him. However, the reality star lost 1.3 million followers herself, giving her a total of 22.2 million followers, according to a graphic created by web developer Zach Allia and picked up by Business Insider.
In addition to Bieber and Kardashian, here are some of the other celebrities who lost a large number of followers:
Akon: 2.5 million
Ariana Grande: 1.5 million
Rihanna: 1.2 million
Selena Gomez: 1.1 million
Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs 1 million
Kendall Jenner: 907,000
Bruno Mars: 881,000
Kylie Jenner: 827,000
Harry Styles: 820,000
Celebs who have a high number of followers tend to get more than just an ego boost from it. They can earn big bucks from sending out sponsored posts. People also often weigh social media presence when considering a person's level of fame.
Twitter users quickly began lamenting the losses of their own followers with the hashtag #instagramPurge.
Everyone on Instagram right now pic.twitter.com/yVU3jtgiti— Kardashian Reactions (@KardashianReact) December 18, 2014
Well, we wouldn't go that far.