Instagram Claims Its Audience Grew, Despite Privacy Snafu

Instagram: Because every photo should look like an 80’s Polaroid.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has told AllThingsD that the service’s audience has continued to enjoy “strong growth around the world,” rising 10 percent between December and January.

That could come as a bit of a shock to anyone who followed Instagram’s December controversy over its revised Terms of Use, which many users interpreted as giving the service carte blanche to sell their images to advertisers. Stung by the blowback, Instagram reverted to its original Terms of Use, which some pundits and publications suggested were actually worse for users’ rights.

“The proposed tweaks made it very clear that advertisers, for example, couldn’t just stick their logo on one of your photos and use it as an Instagram ad,” Bryan Bishop wrote in a Dec. 20 posting on The Verge. “The language the company’s going back to is so broad that such use isn’t out of the realm of possibility—and in that sense today’s development is actually a loss for users.”

Soon after the controversy, data from AppData, a third-party firm that tracks app traffic, suggested that Instagram had suffered a 25 percent drop in daily active users. While the New York Post blamed that dip on a “revolt” among Instagram users stemming from the Terms of Use, AppData soon clarified in a statement that “the decline in Facebook-connected daily active users began closer to Christmas, not immediately after the proposed policy changes.”

As pointed out by AllThingsD, a significant percentage of Instagram users don’t actually connect their accounts to Facebook, which could explain the discrepancy between AppData recording a dip and Instagram now insisting that it’s gained users over the past several weeks. Instagram’s total user base stands at 90 million, according to service, with some 40 million photos posted per day.

Instagram has also tried to increase its presence on mobile devices, recently pushing out an app for Android. Some 30 million people use the service on Apple iOS devices, including the iPhone.

 

Image: Instagram

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