FACT CHECK: Did Paris Saint-Germain Gain Over 20 Million Instagram Followers In Under 24 Hours After Signing Lionel Messi?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) Instagram account jumped from 19 million to 42 million followers less than a day after player Lionel Messi signed with the soccer team.

Verdict: False

PSG’s Instagram followers went from about 41 million on Aug. 10, the day the team announced it had signed Messi, to roughly 44.4 million on Aug. 11, according to data from the social media analytics website Social Blade.

Fact Check:

PSG announced on Aug. 10 that it had signed Messi to a two-year deal including an option for a third year. He had previously played for FC Barcelona in Spain for many years, according to The New York Times.

Some Facebook users have been claiming PSG’s Instagram account roughly doubled its number of followers since Messi signed with the team. One such post features a photo of the soccer star holding his new PSG jersey in the club’s stadium, with the caption alleging, “Less than 24hrs after Messi signed for PSG the clubs instagram followers move from 19m to 42m. The G O A T effect.”

While PSG’s Instagram account has seen an increase in followers, it didn’t jump from 19 million to 42 million after the team signed Messi. Data from Social Blade shows that the team’s Instagram account had about 38.8 million followers on Aug. 9, the day before PSG announced he had signed. PSG’s account had roughly 41 million followers on Aug. 10, the date of the announcement, and roughly 44.4 million on Aug. 11, according to Social Blade.

At the time of publication, PSG has approximately 45.6 million Instagram followers. Archived screen grabs on the Wayback Machine show PSG’s Instagram account had 19.2 million followers in February 2019 and over 20 million in March 2019.(RELATED: Did Lionel Messi Say He Would Not Play A Soccer Match Against Israel?)

Lionel Messi currently has over 248 million Instagram followers.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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