Instagram might be regretting its decision to introduce the new policies that it later (partially) reneged on. Despite Instagram’s revisions to its detested terms and conditions, it appears some serious damage was done. According to reports, Instagram witnessed a 25 percent drop in daily active users after its Terms and Conditions fiasco that had celebrities and other users dropping the service in droves.
Based on AppData’s figures, Instagram was boasting 16.4 million active daily users before the new terms and conditions were announced, but left with just 12.4 million active daily users in the aftermath. The app tracking analytics service was “pretty sure” that the drop in users was due to Instagram’s terms of service announcement. Instagram hasn’t revealed any details on the number of its 100 million total users that have shut down their accounts.
Instagram responded to The New York Post’s article (which first reported the drop) saying that AppData’s figures are misleading, which could be the case since it measures only Instagram accounts that are connected to Facebook. If you check out AppData, you’ll see a warning that states: “This application is integrated into Facebook from one or more platforms outside the Facebook.com canvas. As such, only users who connect to the app using Facebook are included in the active user counts above & below.”
Despite the drop of 3.5 million daily active users, according to AppData, Instagram gained 2.3 million weekly active users in the past seven days indicating that the photo sharing app might not really be in a feeble state after all.
To the user’s credit, the mass hysteria has some merit knowing that Facebook (which acquired Instagram in 2012) was using your profile photos to promote brands through its Sponsored Stories advertising product. If you haven’t been aware, Facebook has been embroiled in a lawsuit over the unsanctioned use of user images for this purpose.
Fortunately Systrom also shot down speculation about Instagram’s use of user-generated photos to promote ads, and reminded them that “Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos.” But he emphasized the fact that “Instagram was created to become a business,” meaning that it has every intention of advertising on its platform and generating revenue.
Without more reliable numbers it’s hard to say what caused the fluxation in the large volume of users that suddenly dropped Instagram, especially since Instagram is rebuking AppData’s assumptions. But considering the timeline, we’re inclined to believe that changes to their terms and conditions was what caused users to flee. Take for example Kim Kardashian, who hasn’t published a single photo to Instagram since four days ago.