Kim Kardashian is apparently the most-followed person on Instagram now, all thanks to the platform's massive spring-cleaning.

The US reality TV star might have lost 1.3 million followers but surged to the top after stealing the title from the previous front runner, Canadian singer Justin Bieber.

Kardashian now reigns with 22.2 million followers.

Bieber lost over 3.5 million followers and now has 20.2 million followers, leaving him in third place.

Kardashian and Bieber were not the only ones who were hit. Other popular stars suffered a worse fate.

According to web developer Zach Allia, among the "top losers" of Instagram's 100 most popular users were US singers Akon (who lost 56.2 per cent of his 4.4 million followers), Bruno Mars (who lost 23.9 per cent of his 3.7 million followers) and US rapper P. Diddy (who lost 22.5 per cent of his 4.7 million followers).

Instagram itself was not spared. Its followers dipped from 64.1 million to 45.3 million, signalling a 29.4 per cent loss.

Instagram did not dispute the figures but clarified that such fake accounts had been purged for a while and are only now being deleted from the follower counts of other users.

In an official statement last week, Instagram told users that it had been "deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis" for an improved user experience.

It has now moved on to "deleting these accounts forever" to keep the experience authentic as the site - with more than 300 million Instagrammers - continues to grow.