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Justin Bieber may have broken Instagram, but Facebook fixed it

justin bieber broke instagram fans francis dean 123rf
Francis Dean/123RF
With 44 million followers on Instagram and more than 2,000 posts sharing various images and videos, it’s easy to understand why Justin Bieber might be one of the social network’s most popular “grammers.” However, besides breaking the hearts of tween and teenaged Beliebers, the pop star has recently been revealed as the cause of a broken Instagram.

As Cade Metz reported for Wired, a few years ago things didn’t always run as smoothly at IG headquarters. For example, every time The Biebs uploaded a photo to the platform, so many fans would “like” it that it would slow Instagram’s computers to a crawl and lock up, something that would leave Mike Krieger, Instagram co-founder, distressed and searching for a solution.

But Justin Bieber wasn’t the only one to blame for when Instagram crashed. The same problem could occur when Kim Kardashian’s nearly 52 million fans liked her images as well. If the cache problem hadn’t been corrected, essentially any celebrity could be responsible for slowing the site for users all over the world. Instagram’s servers just couldn’t handle all those fans’ likes all at one time.

The fix, fortunately, occurred last summer, when parent company Facebook moved the Instagram platform to its own computer data centers. According to Metz, this allowed the platform to eventually expand into other Facebook facilities with more computer servers, which can now handle its more than 80 million photos and videos every day. It also allowed a change in how likes are tallied, which was one of the primary causes of the glitch. The network claims that the new updates to its infrastructure also provide better and faster response to disasters — if one data center goes down, the site isn’t completely disabled because another can “pick up the slack.”

Through the years, Instagram has become one of the top photo-sharing sites on the Internet. Reuters recently reported that out of Instagram’s over 400 million users, the top five happen to be Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, and Ariana Grande. Good news for not just the platform, but for Bieber as well: If there is any problem in the future with a blitz of likes, his fans won’t be the only ones to blame.

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