The extremely popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, has erased millions of accounts that they believed to be posting spam. In the process this has angered, nay, outraged many of  the app’s legitimate users. There are many people who have lost a stack of followers who have criticised the action, some have even called the action, the “Instagram Rapture.”

Just the same the parent company, Facebook, Instagram as part of standard routine removes some accounts to limit spam and thereby prevent users from buying followers to appear more popular. (Buying Accounts? Ridiculous I know, but there you go).

For instance, Rapper Akon has reportedly lost 56% of his followers in the account butchering. Developer Zach Allia , who is not affiliated with Instagram, totalled up the impact of the cull on the App’s top 100 accounts. Amongst the biggest losers were ‘singer’ Justin Bieber (3,538,228 followers), and an online marketing specialist, Wellington Campos, (3,284,304 followers).

There were lots of accounts that, because of the cull, ended up being deleted themselves. One such account, chiragchirag78, lost 99% of his followers – 3,660,460 – before his own count was deleted. Even Instagram’s own account lost 18,880,211 followers overnight.

The deletions were not without warning. Chief executive and founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post earlier this month. “We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience…As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.”

Many of the site’s users directed their anger at Instagram, but others saw the lighter side of the situation; Actor Matt McGorry, wrote: “There may be 545k Instagram followers left but my 11k spam followers that disappeared took a piece of my heart with them. “I’ll honour the memory of each of my 11k spam Instagram followers that I lost with the lighting of candles. Well, one candle. I only have one.”

Either way,  the “Instagram Rapture” affected lots of people. Were you affected at all?

[Image via gizmodo]