Selena Gomez thanks fans after becoming first woman to reach 400 million Instagram followers

Selena Gomez has shared a sweet tribute to her fans after becoming the first woman on Instagram to reach 400 million followers.

The Only Murders in the Building star celebrated the major milestone on Sunday (19 March) by sharing throwback photos of herself with her fans over the years. “Wishing I could hug all 400 million of you,” she captioned the post.

One photo showed the 30-year-old singer posing with a crowd of fans in what appeared to be a post-concert meet-up. Another image showed Selena performing on stage, while one picture saw the Disney Channel alum hugging two young girls as she signed autographs.

Less than one day after Selena Gomez posted about the social media achievement, the Rare Beauty founder has already gained even more fans. Her total Instagram follower count currently sits at 401 million. The major milestone also comes just weeks after she surpassed Kylie Jenner to become the most followed woman on Instagram, after reaching 380 million followers.

It’s possible her rise in Instagram followers is the result of an ongoing rumoured feud between Selena Gomez and model Hailey Bieber, who’s lost a significant amount of followers ever since the decade-old feud resurfaced last month.

Rumours of a resurfaced rift between Justin Bieber’s current wife and his former on-again, off-again girlfriend began when a TikTok user speculated that Kylie Jenner had poked fun at Selena’s appearance. The Wizards of Waverly Place alum revealed that she had “accidentally laminated her brows too much” in a TikTok story. Hours later, Kylie posted an Instagram story featuring a picture of herself zoomed in on her eyes and eyebrows, and captioned the post: “this was an accident ?????”

The reality star then shared another post to her Instagram story which included a screenshot of her FaceTime call with Hailey – their eyebrows close to the camera. However, Kylie denied claims that her post was an intentional dig at Selena.

“This is reaching,” Kylie wrote in the comments section of a TikTok. “No shade towards Selena ever and I didn’t see her eyebrow posts! u guys are making something out of nothing. This is silly.”

Although Kylie Jenner denied claims that she took aim at Selena, the alleged drama between the “Who Says” singer and Kylie’s best friend, Hailey Bieber, dates back over a decade. Selena Gomez famously dated Justin Bieber on and off throughout the early 2010s, from 2011 until 2018. Two months after the former couple finally called it quits, he proposed to model Hailey Baldwin and they were married that September.

As fans gained renewed interest in a ten-year-old feud, social media users began posting videos and conspiracy theories on TikTok about the alleged drama. One fan accused the model of “copying” Selena, from their tattoo placements to their respective cooking shows. Another shared comparisons between Selena and Hailey’s talk show appearances, while others have resurfaced Hailey’s old tweets in support of #Jelena – the nickname given to Justin and Selena’s relationship during the height of their romance.

Although Selena Gomez is now the first woman to reach 400 million Instagram followers, the former child actor has spoken about her complicated relationship with social media. In an interview with Vanity Fair published last February, she spoke out about stepping back from social media.

“People can call me ugly or stupid and I’m like, Whatever. But these people get detailed. They write paragraphs that are so specific and mean,” she said. “I would constantly be crying. I constantly had anxiety…I couldn’t do it anymore. It was a waste of my time.”

Selena also explained that the only social media app she has on her phone is TikTok since she “finds it to be a little less hostile.”

“There are wonderful things about social media—connecting with fans, seeing how happy and excited they are and their stories,” she said. “But usually that’s filtered through [for me now]. I created a system. Everything I do I send to my assistant who posts them. As far as comments, my team will put together a few things that are encouraging.”

In April 2022, the “Same Old Love” singer also revealed that she took a four-year break from the internet, including Instagram, and described how beneficial that was for her. “It has changed my life completely. I am happier, I am more present, I connect more with people,” she said while appearing on Good Morning America. “I understand how powerful the internet is, and in so many ways it’s done the best things for the world. But for me, I get to my news that is actually important...through people in my life.”