Instagram’s Unpopular Privacy Changes Cost Half Its Daily Users [Report]


Instagram’s massively unpopular Terms of Service change in December caused users of the social photo sharing service to initiate a mass exodus, and even though Instagram walked back on its new policies, users are still leaving in droves.

AppStats, an app traffic company, provided data on Instagram that sheds some light on its user dilemma. They report that Instagram has lost more than half of all its active users in the month since proposing the notorious Privacy Policy and Terms of Service changes.

“Some or all of the service may be supported by advertising revenue,” Instagram wrote in the revised Privacy Policy. “To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Basically, the old Terms of Service said that the company could put ads next to your photographs, but the new ToS gave them unilateral power to use your pictures as advertisements, and while you still technically “own” these images, they wouldn’t have owed you a single cent for “borrowing” the images for advertising purposes.

The new ToS are gone, but the damage is done. In mid-December, Instagram boasted 16.3 million daily users. Now, the photo-sharing service only has about 7.6 million daily users. However, Instagram is still gaining monthly active users.

Instagram now has Facebook at its back, and the social networking king has survived plenty of its own privacy scandals. While we won’t declare Instagram dead in the water (hardly), it does need to start shaking things up soon if it doesn’t want to lose any more ground.


Dusten Carlson
Dusten has written for web and print and currently spends his time working on his upcoming graphic novel. He is also almost 30 and still has all of his hair.

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