Big Numbers For Selena Gomez—Record Instagram Followers And Interest In Her Beauty Brand—Amid Bieber Drama


Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber’s internet drama has dominated headlines for weeks and, amid the noise, Gomez has become the most-followed woman on Instagram (while Bieber lost followers), and she’s had her best streaming week in months while searches for her cosmetics brand have spiked.

Key Facts

Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber’s online drama (largely fueled by fan speculation) has come to a head in recent weeks as fans speculated Bieber made digs against Gomez on social media.

Fan speculation that the two were feuding grew as Gomez thanked fans for their support on some TikToks that referenced Bieber’s allegedly mean behavior, though both women have denied rumors of a feud in the past and have asked their fans to stop directing hate at others.

The online fervor has resulted in big follower gains for Gomez and losses for Bieber, as well as spikes in searches for Gomez’s cosmetics brand Rare Beauty and huge streaming boosts for her music catalog.

Gomez earned 16.1 million on-demand streams in the United States for the week ending March 2, up from 11 million the week prior, and becoming her best streaming week since her documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me premiered in November, Billboard reported.

Google searches for Rare Beauty on February 25 were nearly triple what they were on February 22, and maintained popularity before peaking on March 5, according to Google Trends.

Gomez overtook Kylie Jenner as the most-followed woman on Instagram on February 22, the same day Bieber and Jenner made a post some thought made fun of Gomez’s eyebrows, kicking off the drama.

When Gomez passed Jenner, she had 380 million followers, but just 16 days later, she has 397 million (and Jenner still has 380 million).

Bieber has reportedly lost upwards of 1 million followers on Instagram since the drama unfolded: she had 50.7 million followers in late February, but now has 49.4 million.

The TikTok hashtag #teamselena, which fans are using to defend Gomez, has more than 1.1 billion views (#teamhailey has just 88 million).

Key Background

The drama that’s engulfed social media blew up soon after Gomez posted a TikTok on February 22 joking about over-laminating her eyebrows. Bieber posted a screenshot to Instagram showing her FaceTiming Kylie Jenner, with the screenshot featuring close-ups of both of their eyebrows, which fans perceived as a dig against Gomez. Jenner and Gomez both denied the feud rumors but speculation persisted the next day as Gomez commented on several TikToks that mentioned Bieber’s behavior, thanking fans for their support. On February 23, Gomez announced a break from social media, stating: “I’m 30, I’m too old for this.” On February 28, Bieber posted an Instagram story set to Rema’s song “Calm Down”—but the version without Gomez singing on it, which some fans thought was a dig at Gomez. Fans have flooded social media with theories about the alleged feud and have left critical comments on Bieber’s posts. The latest drama follows years of speculation that the two women have feuded over Justin Bieber. Hailey married Justin in 2018, just a few months after he ended his eight-year on-and-off relationship with Gomez. Fan speculation led Gomez and both Biebers to repeatedly deny rumors of a feud over the years, and urge fans to stop leaving hateful comments. Hailey Bieber said she and Gomez are on good terms in September 2022 on the Call Her Daddy podcast.

What To Watch For

Gomez seems set to become the first woman to pass 400 million followers on Instagram (she currently has 397 million). The only people with more followers are footballers Cristiano Ronaldo (558 million) and Lionel Messi (439 million), as well as Instagram’s official account (614 million). Jenner is the next most-followed woman, with 380 million.

Further Reading

The Selena Gomez And Hailey Bieber Social Media Drama, Explained (Forbes)

Did Selena Gomez’s Music Get a Streaming Boost From Hailey Bieber Feud Headlines? (Billboard)

Selena Gomez Has Gained 10 Million IG Followers While Kylie Jenner Lost 500K After TikTok Drama (Elle)