Did Instagram Stage a Pancake Intervention With Justin Bieber?

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Justin Bieber performs on stage during his "Purpose" tour at Madison Square Garden on July 19, 2016 in New York City. 

The saga of Justin Bieber's Instagram is one for the ages. 

First, the pop superstar shocked his 80 million followers on Aug. 15 by deactivating his account after receiving some online hate -- and a razzing by ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez -- over several PDA-related photos. Then a week later he asked his Twitter followers if he should reconsider, with many in the affirmative, including one very eager brand:

That takes us to early Monday morning (Aug. 29) when the Biebs reactivated his feed, exposing a few previously unseen shots of his canine Todd.

Alas, Bieber quickly re-deactivated his account and wrote on Twitter that "it was an accident" and that he was still off IG.

But what happened between the 15th and the 29th that got him thinking about returning to the InstaFold? Why did he set up several posts of his dog during the hiatus, only to accidentally unleash them to his fans during a brief return?

It's a mystery that we can only assume has been keeping Beliebers up at night. But what if, just maybe, the answer to his flirtation with returning was… pancakes.

And maple syrup.

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According to a (apparently print-only) gossip item in London's free Metro newspaper, Instagram officials reportedly caught up with Bieber at the V Festival and tried to entice the singer back with a piping stack of hotcakes.

"As soon as [Justin] landed, they tried to extend an olive branch and prepared a spread of maple syrup pancakes from his Canadian homeland to woo him," a source told the paper, according to the one site that appears to have seen the gossip item: MTV.co.uk.

Many questions arise from this rumored tête-à-tête: where would these delicious pancakes come from (there are no IHOPs in Britain)? How would they be transported and kept so hot? Buttermilk or multigrain? Blueberries, chocolate chips or plain? If it transpired, were any words spoken or was it just a quiet handover of the cakes and perhaps a note saying "Please come back"?

And if the promise of pancakes can't get Bieber to fully return to posting shirtless selfies by the pool, what in God's name will?

It's a wonderful visual -- IG employee on one knee holding a plate of cakes like an engagement ring -- but a source with knowledge of such things tells Billboard, unequivocally, that the meeting did not actually occur. No tray of pancakes. No pats of butter. No foam cups of too-hot syrup with that gross skin on top. None of it.

As a great Canadian pop singer once sang, "Sorry."

Now, since a pancake intervention never happened, perhaps this could help entice the Biebs back to the Facebook-owned service: Beginning today (Aug. 31), IG users can pinch to zoom in on photos and videos. The highly requested feature is available on iOS and will roll out to Android users in the coming weeks.