Instagram releases figures after reports of user numbers nosedive

Alex Walls
January 18, 2013

Instagram now has 90 million monthly active users, reportedly a 10% increase from December to January.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing company has released its monthly active user data for the first time, following reports it had lost more than half its active daily users in one month.  The website now shows 90 million monthly active users, with 40 million photos shared per day, 8500 likes per second and 1000 comments per second.

Thas a lotta “OMG totes luv this filter!” comments.

The company said this was up 10%, month on month, in the period from December to January, AllThingsD said – in other words, Instagram is seeing growth.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom told the news outlet Instagram continued to see “very strong growth” around the world.

“With many of the product and internationalization improvements we’ve made, we’ve been excited to see these efforts resonate with users globally.”


You’re a phony! Or, the mysteries of data analytics

The release of the figures, reportedly for the first time, should surprise very few – stories circulating for the past week have been detailing a nosedive in daily active users following Instagram’s change in Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.  First reported in the New York Post as a drop in daily active users of 25% and picked up by other outlets later on, data from app analytics company AppStats showed in mid-December Instagram had roughly 16.3 million daily active users and by mid-January, this had dropped to 5.4 million – that’s almost 11 million daily active users, gone.

This, many said, was due to the change in Terms of Service which Instagram floated in December, which contained the now-infamous “We can sell your photos without asking you and without giving you any money” clause.  Protests from users resulted in Instagram reverting to its original ToS but many saw the drop in daily active users as evidence people had been put off the service.

However, others argued the drop in users was not necessarily a direct result of the change in ToS.  TechCrunch said AppData only showed users who connected their Instagram accounts to Facebook, leaving out many users who used it independently and a seasonal drop in users among other things, while AllThingsD pointed out that daily active numbers could fluctuate much more than monthly, because people don’t use Instagram every day.


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