How has the Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber feud affected their following and brands?

Social media drama is nothing new and with the introduction of TikTok and Instagram stories, creators and celebrities alike have taken to the platforms to air their views – both good and bad. 

Selena Gomez is no stranger to drama on social media and she has, once again, found herself in the middle of an albeit very vague online ‘feud’ with Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner where Hailey and Kylie have been accused of “Mean Girls” style bullying. If you want to read about what they have seemingly fallen out over (as it’s a bit too complicated to cover in this blog), you can find Insider’s rundown here

But aside from racking up views, likes, comments and shares, what has this apparent feud cost the creators in followers? Let’s take a look…

Selena’s follower count booms

We will be investigating the impact on the followers of their verified Selena, Kylie, and Hailey accounts on the Instagram and TikTok platforms, following the videos in question posted on February 22nd 2023. All stats are found using SocialBlade and are correct as of March 17th 2023.

Up first, let’s look at Selena, who all this controversy is surrounding (well, her eyebrows at least). Selena averaged around 260,000 to just over 700,000 new followers a day in the week leading up to the feud, but gained a whopping +1,564,735 followers in a single day on Friday 24th February – just two days after her original eyebrow video was posted and Kylie posted her rumored response on her Instagram story on the 22nd February.

Selena has amassed a massive 18,854,678 Instagram followers and counting since the original post, with no days where her follower count has gone down.

Kylie’s followers weren’t happy… but in true Kylie fashion, she’s back!

Interestingly, Kylie Jenner’s following took a massive hit on the day her Instagram story went live, losing 124,711 in a single day, with her followers dropping by 806,219 by the 28th February. Interestingly, Monday 27th February was the worst day for unfollows for Kylie, with 275,805 users unfollowing her. This could be attributed to the media covering the feud.

Kylie has, however, had a single day where her follower count rose again by 137,889, which was Saturday 25th February, so she has seen a slight rise in popularity before it dropped again by 180,497 the following day.

However, in true Kylie fashion, she has bounced back and amassed a further 1,506,347 on top of her follower count before she posted the video on the 22nd of February.

Has Hailey’s follower count suffered the most?

Hailey Bieber’s following also took quite a hit. She featured in a second supposed ‘shade’ post by Kylie, which showed her on Facetime with the star where they are both zoomed in on their eyebrows – this post followed the original “This was an accident?????” eyebrow post from Kylie.

While she has a smaller following compared to both Selena and Kylie, this makes any drop in followers a bigger deal. While the numbers may not be as big, the impact on her platform will be more profound.

Her followers began to drop the day after kylies post. Now, bearing in mind that her follower count was rising in the few thousands leading up to this, Hailey saw her number of followers drop by 22,764 on the day following the story, and the whole feud has cost her a massive 1,289,482 followers.

Hailey hasn’t seen a rise in followers since the post and is still seeing days with drops of thousands of followers on her Instagram… not good news for her online presence.

But what about their brands?

So far, each has either gained followers, lost followers, or both… but what about the effect on their brands?

Of course, Kylie has her very popular Kylie Cosmetics brand, while Selena has her Rare Beauty makeup line – both in the beauty industry, so could be seen as competitors, making the effect of the online bust-up a risk for their brands.

As expected, and following the trend of her personal account, the kyliecosmetics account has seen a huge drop in followers, but not just in the last several days since the feud began. Over the last 30 days alone, the brand has lost 134,880 followers, and it only seems to be losing more, with very few days seeing an increase in followers of the brand on Instagram.

On the other side, rarebeauty has seen a huge boost to its following, both before and after the post-battle began. Since the 22nd, rarebeauty has seen an overall increase of 1,198,740 over the last 30 days. New followers of the brand’s Instagram may dip a few times, but on the whole, rarebeauty is still gaining more followers – not losing any.

Hailey Bieber also has her Rhode Skin brand and, not unsurprisingly following suit, the rhode Instagram account began dropping followers like flies after February 22nd. The brand has lost -6,930 followers in the last 30 days.

So, what should we take from this?

Social media can be very fickle – say the wrong thing or affiliate yourself with the wrong person, brand or idea, and it could cause cross-platform damage to your own online presence. Selena may have taken a break from social media following the drama, but she’s back and her following on both a personal and brand level has taken off. 

From Kylie and Hailey’s perspective, it’s even more apparent that planning content for your platforms is important. Was it a poorly-timed post that wasn’t even aimed at Selena? Only Kylie and Hailey know the truth… but it has done damage to their reputation of them as personalities, as well as their brands.

Most businesses won’t have a following as big as these three celebs, but that just makes it more important to ensure that you’re putting out content that showcases your brand in a good light. 

If you’re in need of some social media strategy help, drop our team an email at – we’ll be more than happy to help you promote your brand and elevate your profile across the marketing mix.



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