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Instagram Loses Almost Half Its Daily Users In a Month 250

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-we-go-again dept.
redletterdave writes "Instagram scared off a lot of users back in December when it decided to update its original Terms of Service for 2013. But even though the company reneged on its new terms after a week of solid backlash, Instagram users are still fleeing the photo-sharing app in droves. According to new app traffic data, Instagram has lost roughly half of all its active users in the month since proposing to change its original Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. In mid-December, Instagram boasted about 16.3 million daily active users; as of Jan. 14, Instagram only has about 7.6 million daily users." Towards the end of December data showing a 25% drop in Instagram's daily active users came out. While it caused quite a bit of discussion online, it was suggested that the decline was due to the Christmas holiday or an inaccuracy in the data.
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Instagram Loses Almost Half Its Daily Users In a Month

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  • Droves (Score:5, Informative)

    by greg_barton (5551) <greg_barton@noSpam.yahoo.com> on Monday January 14, 2013 @06:49PM (#42586453) Homepage Journal

    "In droves" not "in troves."

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday January 14, 2013 @06:49PM (#42586463) Homepage
    My proximate annoyance was the Instagram/Twitter war. Much less convenient to post things there now.
    • by mrheckman (939480) on Monday January 14, 2013 @06:56PM (#42586533)

      A change in usability could explain the drop in users, or maybe it was a fad and people have moved on to something else. Most of social media is faddish. It's like the night club business. It's very difficult to maintain popularity, even if you achieve success, because people are moving on to the next hot club.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:30PM (#42586885)

        You wouldn't see a 50% daily drop in users if your app started farting in the users' face after each pic was posted. This is more than just a "fad" growing cold. This is herd mentality running away from something that they were told they should be scared of or offended by.

      • by llzackll (68018)

        I would agree it was just a fad. If people actually gave a damn about a change in Terms of Service, Facebook would have lost most of it's users by now.

    • by Jonah Hex (651948)
      What still works with Twitter, has great features for curating galleries both from phone and especially online via PC? I've tried a few but they all seem pretty basic when it comes to working with galleries. - HEX
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2013 @06:50PM (#42586467)

    Although probably hard to determine, I would venture to guess that Instagram blocking access of their images to Twitter had a bigger effect.

    • Who the fuck cares? The message is still the same: Social media companies be warned. We have absolutely no brand loyalty to you, and if you fuck up even in the simplest way, we will drop you like yesterdays trash. You could be the largest company on earth one month and completely bankrupt the next.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Pentagrams are gaining popularity
  • Key features of Instagram are image enhancement filters with pseudo HDR reconstruction, which is great, but it will be catched, the sooner or the later. So, unless they act in a *very* kind way, they'll die in favor of Twitter and Facebook. IMO, it makes no sense for some minor player to fool around with their temporary momentum: be nice, or die, you insensitive clods.
    • by Swampash (1131503) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:02PM (#42586599)

      Key features of Instagram are image enhancement filters with pseudo HDR reconstruction.

      No, those are just the carrot on the stick. The key features of Instagram are that it's a mobile-only social network, its reason for existence is location-based photo sharing, and it's dominated by iPhone users. The fact that it's mobile-only has every incumbent desktop social network scared. The fact that it's based on photo sharing had Facebook scared, because photo sharing is what made Facebook what it is; and the fact that it's dominated by iPhone users has advertisers salivating, because iPhone users are, demographically, more wealthy and more likely to spend money on products and services.

  • oblig xkcd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenSchuarmer (922752) on Monday January 14, 2013 @06:56PM (#42586527)
    • You should of gone with http://xkcd.com/605/ [xkcd.com]
      Comparing December to January numbers is moronic.
      • But you can compare month to month trends with the same months for previous years. If Nov 2011 to Jan 2012 shows an overall increase and Nov 2012 to Jan 2013 shows an overall falloff, you can draw a decent conclusion.
    • Uhh no not really (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:57PM (#42587131)

      Services like instagram absolutely require user submissions to survive. They make their money on advertising and that only works if they have stuff that people want to come and see. Since they have no content creation arm, they rely on user submissions. Piss off the users, and they've got nothing and they are boned.

      It would be more like if the guy in the comic was leaving all sorts of cool antique items in Chad's garage and Chad was charging others to come and look at them, but was still saying he was going to take and sell them.

      • by TheSwift (2714953)

        Whoa, whoa, whoa.. Who clicked insightful on this one?

        Instagram has not had ads since it began in 2010. That's the whole point. Thus far they HAVEN'T made money. For three years, Chad's been maintaining a crapload of data for free. I would say that's rather generous, wouldn't you?

        That said, I won't pretend to feel sorry for a business that's been sold for a billion+ dollars. They have enough green tissues to blow their noses with. But I won't hesitate to criticize 8 million users who get angry when they rea

  • by seepho (1959226) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:13PM (#42586721)
    "Ohh no, the startup I've been storing my pictures with has been bought out by a company that changed its ToS to include terms someone on the internet told me not to agree with. The best way to solve this problem is by storing my pictures with another startup that doesn't have such a disagreeable ToS. Problem solved forever."

    Strawmanning is fun sometimes.
    • by Cerium (948827)

      Umm... I'm pretty sure that if I were using a service and the TOS changed, switching to another that has better terms is the most logical thing to do. How they learn about the change doesn't really matter.

      That seems to make more sense than posting a passive-aggressive pseudo-rant on some nerd news site. :/

      • by seepho (1959226)
        Agreed. And eating a banana makes more sense than riding a roller coaster. @:3
        • Agreed. And eating a banana makes more sense than riding a roller coaster. @:3

          Axiom mixing never works. Attempting to combine Wittgenstein's Banana with Elvis' Charcoal Briquette makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      In capitalism customers will go to the service with better conditions, what's so surprising in that? After a while, big businesses will either learn or continue being replaced by a steady supply of startups. The users don't lose on this.

      • Except... we're not really in a capitalist society. Capitalism depends on transparency and being unfettered by outside influences, and we do not have that. The government intervenes, controls and is bought by businesses. The true harm that comes with regulation is not the damage it does to business, but the interest in manipulating the government it creates in business. Social media companies will learn this, and their TOS's will not just get worse, they'll become law. We currently have a largely unregulate

    • The question is: would people be willing to pay for image hosting?

      • The answer is: They already are. You just haven't figured out the new currency yet. Instagram just hiked their prices and people aren't buying anymore.

  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blahbooboo (839709) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:18PM (#42586767)

    The sooner instagram dies the better. There are great cameras in smartphones now, it's crazy people want to make their photos look like crap with filters.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:26PM (#42586851) Homepage Journal

    It was bound to crash. How long does making your picture look like it was taken on a 1969 Instamatic keep being interesting? Especially when everyone is doing it. I mean does anyone think taking picture of yourself in a mirror in your underwear is a business model? Because Instagram is like that.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:32PM (#42586905)

    Like perhaps the holidays are over? I'm sure a bump in the number of users could be due to the holidays and snapping lots of photos of family and their holiday preparations and such.

    And now, a month later, the holidays are over and the drab January days are here. Which likely means well, there's less stuff to post about?

    That's like saying Apple is failing because their iPhone sales are falling in January after spiking in November-December. January is a very slow month to begin with for most businesses (especially after the holiday bills come due), and likely, is very slow because it's a drab month to begin with.

    • by robogun (466062)

      If your theory is true, where is the Slashdot story "Facebook Loses Almost Half Its Daily Users In A Month"

      As for Apple, when they cut back parts orders when even Nokia is expanding is... troubling...

    • Due to the fact that they didn't DOUBLE the user count in response to " due to the holidays and snapping lots of photos of family and their holiday preparations and such".

      http://www.wired.com/business/2012/09/instagram-use-exploding/ [wired.com] for the period of 03-2012 till 09-2012. That is not a "holiday run up". And, even if people were snapping fewer photos - they wouldn't TERMINATE the accounts, just stop using...

  • A lesson for all (Score:2, Insightful)

    by U8MyData (1281010)
    Imagine if we did this to services we dislike more often? Democracy still works folks.
  • Why would anyone be surprised that a low-tier service for lazy people to do little more than crop photos and apply crappy-looking digital filters loses market share when said service announces that they're effectively going to steal all their user's photos?

  • I hate instagram and FB and all my friends and i'm old and stupid, but, i'm also in web analytics, and comparing mid-January to mid-December doesn't make any sense. I mean, I can't think of one, maybe there's some reason that in mid-december, people might be taking a lot more pictures than at other times of the year. Oh wait, I can think of one. A giant one. The biggest one all year.

    Or maybe there were more devices going into new owners' hands in mid-december and THAT drove up usage like crazy. Or maybe peo

  • by adisakp (705706) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:46PM (#42587027) Journal
    I know a lot of people who are twitter users and were pissed off at Instagram when they broke Twitter integration. The unfavorable TOS just was the last straw to get Tweeters to leave in droves.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Monday January 14, 2013 @07:47PM (#42587033)
    Got Greedy
    • by tatman (1076111)
      Exactly. Then again, anyone using a free service, with no ads, should expect something will change, at some point. I certainly wasn't surprised by the change, just disappointed.
    • by a_hanso (1891616)

      Indeed. Notice how this happens just around the time when a tech startup that was until then run by the founders, get an infusion of MBA executives? I've seen it happen. Not only do they change the focus of the company from great products to shorter term profits, they bring a certain bring a certain small-mindedness and blame culture that ends up polluting and demoralizing the entire workforce. Yeah, sorry. Kind of off topic.

  • Maybe the real problem with Instagram was just that it wasn't particularly useful?

  • by Greyfox (87712)
    I might have to rethink who I thought had the Midas poo touch. For a long time I thought it might be EA, because everything they touch seems to turn to shit. Now I'm leaning toward Facebook. And HP and SONY are solidly in the running there, too. So many companies with the Midas poo touch. You'd think "not treating your customers with contempt" would be a fairly easy lesson to learn. And yet, here we are...
  • Do you really think 99% of people out there really care what happens with their data or their rights? Instagram's decline has nothing to do with the TOS or privacy policy. It service based on a fad. The fad is no longer cool. Instagram is over.
  • That shatters Netflix's record of 900,000 (approx 2% if I recall).
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:58AM (#42588805) Homepage

    One mistake that makes you uncool, and it's downhill from there.

You will lose an important disk file.

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