August 02, 2019
Even with Instagram trialling taking away the visible “likes” function (it’s currently running a test with its Australian users among a number of other countries), the “follower” and “following” counts on the social media platform are still highly important, visible metrics about each social media account.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry purposely unfollowed everyone on Instagram
Overnight, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made a major change to this metric, unfollowing everyone on their official Instagram account, @royalsussex. Their topline numbers now read: followers 9.2 million, following 0.
While high-profile brands, celebrities and royals with big followings don’t tend to follow many people back, typically they do follow a small handful of accounts that they are aligned with or are close friends or family members. For instance, Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton’s official Instagram account, @kensingtonroyal, boasts 9.8 million followers and follows 89 accounts — one of which is Markle and Prince Harry’s @sussexroyal account.
The Sussexes only launched their official Instagram account, separate from the Kensington Palace account which they used to share with Prince William and Middleton, in April this year, and it appears unfollowing everyone after such a short time on the platform is part of an overall social strategy that will be very different from that of the other royal social media accounts.
Yesterday, prior to unfollowing everyone, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a picture on Instagram referencing the British Vogue September issue theme, “Forces for Change”, which Markle was the guest editor of. “Who is your Force for Change?” the Instagram post asks. The caption accompanying the question explains that going forward the couple will be looking to their followers to suggest accounts to follow that highlight specific causes. “We want to know who YOUR Force for Change is…. Each month, we change the accounts we follow to highlight various causes, people or organisations doing amazing things for their communities and world at large,” the Sussexes write.
The couple then ask for suggestions in their comments section and since the post went live yesterday it has been liked by 228,652 people and counting with over 32k comments, many of which are legitimate suggestions for organisations that their followers would like the couple to highlight.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry purposely unfollowed everyone on Instagram
It will be interesting to see how this new strategy plays out and whether the internet embraces this new royal interactive social strategy or if the following count stays at zero and their follower count continues to rise at the same stratospheric rate since they launched the account in April.
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