- Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram on Oct. 15 and created such a frenzy that she promptly broke the platform and set a Guinness World Record.
- The Instagram accounts of Aniston’s “Friends” costars have seen massive boosts to their follower counts since the actress joined last week: Each costar has gained over 1 million followers, according to CrowdTangle.
- Aniston’s effect on Instagram and her costars’ follower counts shows just how influential the actress is – something CrowdTangle has dubbed The Aniston Effect, a shoutout to the term once coined to demonstrate Angelina Jolie’s effect on everything from Ethiopian adoptions to breast-cancer screenings.
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Jennifer Aniston has attracted over 16.5 million followers since joining Instagram a mere 10 days ago, but she’s not the only celebrity to see a massive boost on the platform since her debut.
Aniston’s costars on “Friends” have each seen their Instagram followings grow by more than a million followers since the actress joined the platform on Oct. 15, according to analysis from Facebook-owned tool CrowdTangle. That excludes Matthew Perry, the actor who played Chandler Bing, as he doesn’t have an Instagram account.
The day Aniston debuted her Instagram account was an eventful day for the platform: The influx of followers to Aniston’s account caused technical issues for many users, and Aniston set a Guinness World Record by hitting 1 million followers in just five hours and 16 minutes.
As of Friday, Aniston already has more followers than her four fellow Friends costars on Instagram have combined.
Up until Oct. 15, the Instagram accounts for the four fellow “Friends” Instagrammers – Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), and David Schwimmer (Ross Geller) – were each only accruing just a few thousand followers per day. Aniston then joined Instagram and posted her first photo: a selfie with her five “Friends” costars. In that first day, each of the four Instagram costars gained around 500,000 followers, according to CrowdTangle.
Considering “Friends” ended 15 years ago, there’s logically no other reason the “Friends” costars saw their Instagram following’s boost so significantly other than Aniston’s emergence onto the platform. The actress’s influence is a trend we can attribute to The Aniston Effect (shoutout to CrowdTangle for the name).
It’s a nod to the term Time penned back in 2013 to explain Angelina Jolie’s influence on the world: Whe she adopted a child from Ethiopia, US adoptions of Ethiopian babies reportedly doubled. When she revealed she had a double mastectomy because of her genetically-caused higher risk of developing breast cancer, the number of women getting similar genetic testing skyrocketed.
The boost to the Instagram accounts of Aniston’s “Friends” costars may also shed light on just how intense the loyalty of the TV sitcom’ cult following remains. Fans in droves were heartbroken when Netflix said in July that “Friends” would no longer be available for streaming come 2020 (the TV show is moving to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, who reportedly paid $425 million for the rights).
There hasn’t been a new episode of “Friends” since 2004, but the show was just a starting off point for the illustrious acting career of Aniston, whose net worth is an estimated $240 million. Aniston is starring alongside Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell in a series called “The Morning Show,” which will premier in the fall exclusively on Apple’s new subscription streaming service, Apple TV Plus.
“I decided to get two phones,” the actress told The Los Angeles Times. “So one sits in my office and when that [Instagramming] has to happen, I’ll commit to that.”