Disgruntled Instagram Users Start Leaving After Privacy Fiasco

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Popular photo-sharing service Instagram lost a quarter of its total users worldwide, at least according to speculations of widely distributed media reports.

When Instagram revealed an updated terms of service (ToS) on December 17, it almost automatically set off discontent users who squawked about a new proposed policy that will allow the company to sell user information, such as usernames and images, for advertisements.

The modified ToS also proposed that Instagram is not required to name promotional material or sponsored content in its feed.

The suggested changes sparked a big commotion among users that Instagram forcibly turned back on its terms in days, but the damage and aftermath of its trip-up may have significantly cut down its user base based on new statistical data from analytics company AppData.

A New York Post report revealed that AppData found Instagram’s active users slashed from 16.4 million to 12.4 million for the period December 17 to 27.

Despite the diminishing daily figure, the AppData report pointed that Instagram’s monthly active users have increased from 41.6 million to 43.3 million.

The New York Post remarked, however, that AppData’s figures are not capable of measuring each user of a specific app, such as Instagram, and only reflects trends in usage.

Launched in October last year, Instagram says it now has 30 million registered users. It was acquired by Facebook on September 6, 2012 for $715 million in cash and stocks after receiving a go-ahead from government agencies.

Disgruntled Instagram Users Start Leaving After Privacy Fiasco
Image: Karl Nilsson via Flickr (CC)

Update: The Los Angeles Times called up and received a quote from an Instagram rep: ”This data is inaccurate. We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram.”

The Next Web skeptically looked at data for some other apps only to find that many apps were down around Christmas: Pinterest was down 27.5 percent, Zoosk was down 31 percent, Yahoo’s Social Bar fell an astonishing 67 percent, and Spotify was down 10 percent.

This update and data suggests we are all too caught up with the Yuletide and our families that we almost have no time to bother with our mobile devices and computers.

A fairly dependable wager is that if media and people will take time to look into the data on other special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, Instagram will set new record usages.

Fact is, Instagram’s run has been on a steady increase in terms of usage since it launched the app on the iPhone not so long ago.