Well this is interesting. Racked reported that style bloggers were hit hard following the Great Instagram Bot Purge of 2014 when the photo-sharing platform deleted millions of accounts suspected of being spam. This wouldn't seem strange except for the fact that fashion and lifestyle bloggers have frequently been accused of buying social media followers in the past.
According to the report, which looked at the popular profiles as Aimme Song of Song of Style, Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies, and Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere, the bot purge caused several bloggers to lose a significant percentage of followers.
Aimee Song of Song of Style posted the most significant drop in followers, from 1.9 million down to 1.8 million, which translates into a 5% decrease. Kimberly Pesch of Eat Sleep Wear was down about 4,000 followers, from 150k to 146k, which is only a 2.7% decrease. Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies, who's been openly accused of buying followers, posted a loss of under 1%.
Racked appears to view this loss as an indication that the bloggers have indeed been buying followers, which does make sense. You might be wondering "What's the big deal?" As Jon Moy at Four Pins points out, it's terrible from a business perspective. "Buying followers is problematic for brands that are trying to work with bloggers because they can't tell which bloggers are actual nxt lvl #influencers and which ones are just irrelevant strug lords faking the funk."
Purchasing followers also indicates that these bloggers are faking just how popular they are, which comes across as pretty desperate. Fashion blogs may be a dying breed, in part because of Instagram itself, and so I understand that people who make their money that way are scrambling to figure out how to grow their brand as times change. But buying popularity is definitely not the right course of action.