Instagram denies sudden drop in users over terms of service fiasco

by: Joe HindyJanuary 18, 2013

You may recall that Instagram made some interesting changes to their terms of service awhile back. The change allowed Instagram to use its users’ photos in advertising without their permission. As one can imagine, that made a lot of people pretty mad. Mad enough that rumors circulated that people left the photo-based social media service in droves. Today, Instagram released numbers stating this is not true.

Over at their official website, they have posted some user stats. It states that there are currently 90 million monthly users who upload about 40 million photos per day. As The Verge pointed out, that’s actually a 10% increase from last month.

This seems to lay those rumors of everyone leaving to rest. Or do they? As stated, these are monthly totals. The problem with monthly totals is that if you chase away half your user base during the first week, back pedal, and get everyone back the last week, your monthly totals probably wouldn’t reflect that.

Is that happened to Instagram?

It’s hard to tell without more statistics. As AllThingsD pointed out, a day by day usage chart would’ve been far more interesting to look at. Monthly stats don’t always tell the whole story.

When the revolt started, Instagram wasted no time back pedaling and agreeing to change the ToS back. So there very well could’ve been some substantial, if temporary, drops. Monthly stats wouldn’t show that.

In any case, the old terms of service is actually going to kick in this Saturday. So we can all lay the Instagram controversy to rest. Did anyone go back after quitting due to the ToS? We’d like to hear your take on it.

  • matt

    Instagram is reverting their TOS? really?

    • JosephHindy

      According to Engadget, yeah.

      • But I read their new TOS. They still can sell their photos to whoever they like.

        • JosephHindy

          My mistake, it was actually The Verge that said it.

  • MasterMuffin

    never understood why people use instagram…

    • DroidBricker

      To take pics of lunch, of course!

      • MasterMuffin

        Well that is indeed nice and important thing to do, quite splendid :D

  • DroidBricker

    I for one will NOT STAND for this company allowing the leftovers I took to work for lunch today to be exploited by advertisers and made available to any food perv on the internet!

  • I download and signed up for Instagram the day it was released on Android and I liked it. It was a good community where I could follow celebrities and check out some cool photography. However ever since the TOS nightmare, I lost interest in the service and just before the new TOS went into effect, I saw the writing on the wall and I deleted my account. I figure the best alternative for me is to build my own photoblog next to my blog.

    That said, I believe while many people did in fact leave Instagram over the TOS nightmare, there are still many that are now signing up for the service at the same time and while Instagram did take a hit from it, Instagram is still very popular and heavily used although there numbers are a little overestimated.

  • AdiosPartner

    Too little too late. When a company such as this tries to do what they did and then backpedal, it just shows you the type of company you’re dealing with and, from my point of view, I choose not to do business with them as they can’t be trusted. My belief is, if you leave because of what they try to do, you can’t sleep because they’ll try to do it again…you see that in old western movies all the time. So, its just like Netflix…once gone, say gone.

  • Frank

    I didnt close my account I just stopped using instagram… so most probably wont close the account and just simply not share pics on there anymore. They should do a poll on how many users simply just stopped using the app as opposed to going through the trouble of closing their account.

  • Lara

    Seriously what did instagram users expect? FB owns instagram, FB doest give a s**t about your privacy yet people continue to use it, pfffftttt. Ron Paul was the greatest president the US never had. Free Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. But the sheep continue to sleep.

  • Ke nny

    I canceled my account after learning of the TOS change. So, there’s one.