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Mega-influencers lose millions of followers

HypeAuditor, the AI analytics platform for brands seeking fair, transparent, and effective influencer marketing, recently noticed that some of the world's top celebrity influencers have been losing millions of their Instagram followers within 14 days. As HypeAuditor looked closer into it, it seems that this does not represent a mass exodus of fans, but rather a targeted approach by Instagram itself going through a thorough purge of bots and fake followers.
According to HypeAuditor, between September 6 and 13, 2022, 13.5 percent of all Instagram accounts saw a decline in followers. Accounts with 100,000 to one million followers (31.5 percent) and accounts with more than one million followers (30.7 percent) were particularly affected. For the smaller accounts with 1,000 to 5,000 followers, only eight percent recorded such a decline.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the largest influencer on Instagram with 476 million followers (as of September 15, 2022), has lost 1.6 million followers in just two weeks – although the number of fans is usually growing steadily. Big celebrities such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian recorded losses of 2.4 million followers in the same period. An analysis by HypeAuditor reveals that currently mainly – but not exclusively – large Instagram accounts are losing masses of followers. 
Alex Frolov, CEO and co-founder of the AI-based analysis company said, "“The loss of followers should not be a cause for concern for influencers or the brands they work with - quite the opposite. The massive loss of followers that stars like Cristiano Ronaldo or Kim Kardashian are currently experiencing does not mean that millions of fans are giving up their loyalty. Instead, we suspect the origin lies with Instagram itself. Such a purge of inactive or fraudulent accounts is nothing new. Other platforms such as Twitter or YouTube also run these from time to time to reduce the amount of inauthentic activity. We estimate that only about 60 percent of all Instagram accounts are real people. The rest are bots, inactive accounts or mass followers - and it’s highly unlikely that they are genuinely interested in shared content. So it only makes sense that Instagram should also remove mass accounts like these.”
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