A cunning plan by Instagram to make money out of Facebook photographs has spectacularly failed. The outfit, which is owned by Facebook, thought that it could make a quick buck by changing its terms and conditions so that it owned all the pictures on the social notworking site and could sell them on.
There were howls of protest and the company had to backtrack. Now it is becoming clear why. Instagram lost almost a quarter of its daily users a week after it rolled out and then withdrew policy changes. According to data compiled by online tracker AppData and reported by the New York Post and wire news agencies, the number of daily active Instragram users who accessed the service via Facebook bottomed out at 12.4 million as of Friday, compared with a peak of 16.4 million the week before.
Instagram has disputed the AppData survey, which was compiled from users that have linked the photo service to their own Facebook accounts - historically between 20 and 30 per cent of Instagram members.
It insists that it is seeing strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram. A reason for the drop could be because the holiday period is always fairly slow. In an opinion article on Mashable over the weekend, Chris Taylor noted that the surveyed sample still represents 44 million out of 100 million users which is a pretty massive sample size in any statistician's book.
While AppData told the Post on Friday it was "pretty sure the decline was due to the terms of service announcement", it has now added that the terms of service change spurred a lot of negative media attention and complaints from users, the decline in Facebook-connected daily active users began closer to Christmas, not immediately after the proposed policy changes. The drop between December 24 and 25 seems likely to be related to the holiday, during which time people are travelling and otherwise have different routines than usual. A number of other apps saw similar trends, including Skype, Pandora, Pinterest and Yelp.
Yeah they have wimped out.