Selena and Zayn unfollowed each other on Instagram, so internet sleuths are sharing their theories

Is it the end of a romance...or something else?

selena gomez and zayn malik headshots on a tye dye background
(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage + The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)

Selena and Zayn sparked dating rumors earlier this year, but has their romance fizzled? It sure seems like it. 

Eagle-eyed Selenators caught the Only Murders in the Building star doing a social media purge, unfollowing Zayn, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Zendaya and Dua Lipa on Instagram. Though the "Levitating" singer managed to earn her way back into Selena's virtual good graces, the other famous faces still remain absent from her follow list.

Has there been a fallout we didn't hear about? A source told People that there's no bad blood and onlookers are simply reading too much into it. "There are absolutely no hard feelings with anyone she unfollowed," the unnamed source assured. 

Then, in the wake of the clean-up, Zayn unfollowed Selena, cleared his Instagram grid, and changed his photo to a black circle. Well, well, well. What's going on here?!

Why did Selena and Zayn unfollow each other on social media?

Some seem to believe that the simultaneous unfollowing spree is signifying something more. Naturally, it didn't take long for theorists to share their predictions on  FYPs and newsfeeds. Here's what some clever cleavers conjured up. 

1. A collab is coming

A select group of fans seems to believe that Sel and Zayn are professionally entangled...potentially. Is there a single on the way? Does it have to do with "unfollowing"? We'll keep our Spotify playlists at the ready just in case. (Speaking of which, have you checked out Spotify Receiptify yet?) 


♬ original sound - Sussan_Mourad

2. It's just a coincidence

Perhaps the unnamed source that spoke to People is telling the truth—there's nothing to analyze. (Doubtful.) 

3. Gigi wants Zayn back

Although Gigi Hadid and Leonardo DiCaprio have sparked romance rumors of their own, fans seem to think this is just an attempt to divert people's attention away from the fact that Gigi, Zayn's ex and the mother of his daughter, Khai, wants to give their love another try. 

Considering Sel got involved with The Weeknd shortly after Bella Hadid, perhaps she wanted to steer clear of another Hadid-sibling love triangle.



4. The move was calculated by Selena's team

The "Hands To Myself" singer confessed to Vanity Fair earlier this year that she avoids Instagram because of the negativity comments tend to cause her. Plus, unlike other millennials, she doesn't even have the app on her phone.

“I would constantly be crying. I constantly had anxiety….I couldn’t do it anymore. It was a waste of my time,” she told the publication. “The only thing I have on my phone is TikTok because I find it to be a little less hostile."

She also mentioned that her team handles her posts and that, if anything, she'd prefer to keep things light and airy over on TikTok.

"There are wonderful things about social media—connecting with fans, seeing how happy and excited they are and their stories. But usually that’s filtered through [for me now]," she added. "I created a system. Everything I do, I send to my assistant who posts them. As far as comments, my team will put together a few things that are encouraging.”

We'll wait to see how it all develops, but we wouldn't mind a new song to add to our playlists. Just saying!

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.