Instagram fights back, releases performance stats for the first time

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The Internet reacted and revolted in dismay when Instagram’s terms and conditions suggested that its monetization scheme included owning the rights to its user’s content and allow brands and advertisers access to it. Users shut down their accounts and celebrities fled. The uproar finally compelled Instagram to revert back to backpedal a bit (although much of its ToS will still change as of this Saturday). App Data’s figures supported the findings suggesting that Instagram suffered a 25 percent loss of users in the wake of that single ordeal, but Instagram is setting the story straight today and for the first time released stats on its health to prove that it’s doing just fine.

If you check out Instagram’s press page, on the right column a section with statistics outlines just how well Instagram is fairing right now. According to Instagram, the platform is on a roll. To date, Instagram garners over 90 million monthly active users, which is up 10 percent month over month between December 2012 and January 2013. App Data claimed in December that Instagram had 16.4 million daily active users, which then dropped down to 12.4 million daily active users once the Terms and Conditions fiasco hit. But don’t mistake monthly active users with daily active users.

Looking at the latest App Data’s figures for monthly active users (from January 7, 2012), the tracking app suggests that there’s just 45 million monthly active users. So where does the 50 percent discrepancy come from? App Data only tracks the number of users that have their Facebook accounts connected to Instagram since it doesn’t have full access to Instagram’s metrics. You’re not required to sign up with a Facebook account in the first place, and from the looks of it, a decent amount of users have chosen not to do so.

Instagram insisted, when App Data’s figures were publicized, that the numbers was outright inaccurate — and the platform was right, to an extent. But to say that Instagram didn’t take a hit in daily active users as “punishment” for the now infamous incident, would be to fall into its PR trap. The daily active user metric fluctuates on a daily basis, and there was a decrease here. The sudden drop in daily users isn’t a statistic to overlook.

Regardless, looking at the big picture, the drama over Instagram’s terms isn’t enough to significantly hurt it in the long run. New users are still flocking to Instagram, 40 million photos are published on a daily basis, and every second there are 8,500 new likes along with 1,000 new comments. It’s safe to say the platform has weathered the user rage storm. 

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