Selena Gomez, Queen of Instagram, Is Ghosting the App – Vanity Fair

Selena Gomez, the reigning queen of Instagram in terms of follower count, has forsaken her kingdom. Maybe it’s not that dramatic, but in a new Vogue profile, the pop star and actress explained why she’s taking a step back from the platform.

“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez said.

Now, she has a sort of Jesus, Take the Wheel approach to the ‘gram: Only her assistant knows the password, and she’s deleted it from her phone. As Gomez tells it, her decision to distance herself from the app is a matter of self-preservation.

“It had become so consuming to me,” she told Vogue. “It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”

A generous slice of a pop star’s livelihood and fan base come from the careful balance of authenticity and sponsorship on various social platforms (recent estimates suggest a single Gomez Instagram post is “worth” over half a million). Nevertheless, Gomez lost neither followers nor endorsement deals when she completely stopped posting last fall (she had checked into a 90-day rehab program for exhaustion, depression, and anxiety, which can be symptoms of lupus). In fact, news of a large deal with Coach broke after her return to the platform. The hiatus proved she has some latitude to “ghost it a bit” without risking income or her connection with her fans.

Still, other stars who appeal to a similar demographic are gaining on her. Ariana Grande is second to Gomez in followers on Instagram, recently displacing Taylor Swift as the runner-up. Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement superseded Gomez’s Coca-Cola ad as the most liked photo on the platform, a distinction Gomez achieved over the summer, a month before she took a break.

It would certainly be the end of an era should this current ghosting of Instagram leads to Grande (or another celebrity) taking Gomez’s No. 1 spot. She doesn’t appear to be worried, though, and her fanbase of Selenators will likely support her no matter what.

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