Public anger at controversial changes to its terms of service, which would have handed Instagram the rights to its users’ photos without paying a penny, forced it to row back furiously.
But even that climb-down has not prevented a host of users turning their backs on the camera app, figures suggest.
Facebook-owned Instagram had hoped to pave the way for advertising revenue but users were angered because the changes appeared to also be a landgrab, allowing the company to sell the photos on without explicit authorisation. And that anger seemed to be borne out in the number of active users revealed by respected analyst AppData today.
Nearly a quarter appeared to have stopped using the app, bought by Facebook in September for more than £600m, since the changes. AppData figures suggested that the number of active daily users fell from 16.2 million on the day the changes were announced, to 12.4 million torday, a decrease of more than 23 per cent.
“[We are] pretty sure the decline in Instagram users was due to the terms of service announcement”, AppData told The New York Post. However, the impact does not seem to have come immediately after the announcement, with figures relatively steady between the 15 and 16 million marks, until Christmas Day, when they fell sharply.
Following the backlash of users, Instagram’s developers backtracked on their plans to modify the terms of service soon after they were announced. “Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did,” the company’s co-founder Kevin Systrom said in blogpost detailing their change of plan a week ago.