Facebook’s ill-fated purchase of Instagram stumbles from one disaster to the next after new figures revealed that the photo-sharing service has lost almost 50 per cent of its daily users in less than a month.
The dramatic drop in traffic has been attributed to an attempt made before Christmas to introduce new terms and conditions which sparked an outcry from users including celebrities such as Kim Kardashian.
Instagram’s active daily users – the highest frequency user group – has dropped to 8.42 million this week, from 16.35 million on Dec 17, the day the controversial news broke.
The active daily user statistics have been compiled by AppStats, which measures app usage by tracking users who are logged into Instagram via Facebook.
‘The main loss will be most likely due to the terms of service changes, given how much attention and controversy the terms of service change has brought, and seeing how clearly the Instagram app dropped after the terms of service change,’ AppStats CEO Sebastian Sujka told The New York Post.
Facebook has been quick to release a statement describing the data as ‘inaccurate’. ‘We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram,’ it read.
It claims that Instagram has 100 million registered users, but has declined to provide any alternative metrics.
AppData, an alternative measurement service, has also recorded a decline in Instagram usage. It’s results show a 25 percent drop in Instagram’s active daily users, to 12.4 million, from 16.4 million from Dec. 19 to 26.
Facebook has also called that data ‘inaccurate.’
The company this week told developers that it is moving away from the daily statistics of the sort that showed Instagram’s slip in favor of less detailed rankings.
There was outrage amongst Instagram users in December when it published new terms which appeared to give it rights over all its users’ photos and data to promote ‘sponsored content’.
The terms also included a controversial provision which implied that if a child under the age of 18 used the service, his or her parents had tacitly agreed to Instagram’s terms.
Anyone who did not agree with the new terms was invited to delete their account.
But the aggressive strategy failed when a string of high-profile celebrities users, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian and actor Seth Green, took to Twitter to say they would delete their Instagram accounts.
The service’s celebrity users were among the many to join a chorus of criticism as a widespread media and public backlash quickly gathered pace and forced the company to backtrack.