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Instagram users report losing thousands of followers

By Jamie Harris, Press Association Science Technology Reporter

Instagram is looking into an issue that has caused some accounts to experience a drop in their number of followers, the social network has confirmed.

Users of the photo sharing app started reporting a slump in follower numbers, with fans of American singer Ariana Grande saying she had lost as many as three million followers, falling from 145 million to 142 million.

Dame Joan Collins tweeted that she will no longer post on Instagram, after losing 3,000 followers.

Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt said on Twitter: "Why is Instagram just casually knocking 200,000 followers from everyone??"

Celebrity stylist James Charles revealed on Twitter that his follower count had shed over half a million.

Many users have speculated the move may be the result of a purge on fake or bot accounts. Instagram has long made it known that it works on deactivating spam accounts on an ongoing basis.

However, the Facebook-owned platform indicated the current drop in follower numbers is not as a result of a wider purge of fake accounts.

"We're aware of an issue causing a change in account follower numbers for some people right now," an Instagram spokesman said. "We're working quickly to fix this."