Several users, especially those with many followers, took to social media to point out the unusual activity that caused them to lose hundreds, in some cases, millions of followers.

Instagram bug altering follower counts company assures fix by Friday
Atom Tech Shorts Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 13:56

A bug on Instagram that has been altering follower counts of users would be taken care of latest by Friday, Instagram announced in a tweet on Thursday.

"We're expecting to have this issue resolved by 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) tomorrow. We understand this is frustrating, and our team is hard at work to get things back to normal," the Facebook-owned photo-messaging app tweeted. 

Instagram confirmed the bug on Wednesday and informed via Twitter that the company was working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. 

“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,” it said initially.

A few celebrities such as Ariana Grande were affected where her followers fell from 145 million to 143 million.  Kim Kardashian too, lost 1.9 million followers. Justin Bieber lost 1.7 million followers.

The bug seemed to have been affecting Indian users as well.

Several Indian public figures, influencers and pages took to Instagram and Twitter to complain about the glitch. 

The drastic drop in followers caused some users to wonder if Instagram was culling inactive and fake accounts, as part of its fight against spam, TechCrunch reported. 

Instagram claims to have a user-base of one billion global active users and it is not clear how many users actually did get affected by the problem. 

The Instagram bug was reported just hours after Twitter got infected with a similar bug that caused constant fluctuations on the number of 'Likes' and 'Retweets' on the platform - making users wonder if accounts were being suspended in mass or if Twitter was deleting them.

In other news, Instagram is also testing a feature that will allow users to send and receive direct messages through its mobile and desktop website.

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