Instagram users fall by almost half
Fallout from the copyright issue scandal turns out to be quite significant
Published: 15 January, 2013
It's looking like Twitter may have the last laugh. The pre-Christmas battle it had with Instagram has resulted in active users of the photo-sharing service dropping by almost half since December.
Back then users' trust in the application was knocked as proposed copyright policy changes seemed to suggest that Instagram would own the rights to any images that were uploaded through it. This would have allowed it to use photographs for profit without their creator's consent and without paying them a penny. Instagram quickly back-pedaled when the outcry broke out among its users, but the damage was already done.
The news comes from AppStats, which offers analytics for Facebook applications and games, and claims that since the announcement, the number of active Intsagram users has dropped from almost 16.3m to around 7.6m. While it's still continuing to gain new users the sudden drop is significant.
An Instagram spokesperson has said that the figures supplied by AppStats are incorrect and that the social photo network is still strong and continuing to grow. However they didn't offer any figures to back up their defense.
A possible source of error in the stats is the fact that they're measured by Facebook Connect logins and not Instagram logins. Other popular apps saw a large drop in users over the holiday period which could mean that there's another reason for the Instagram Exodus.
This corresponds with a report from The Guardian that Facebook also suffered a loss over Christmas, to the tune of 600,000 users. The news has added fuel to the fire that the social network has reached saturation point in its key markets.
Whatever Facebook's woes, whether for its own site or the popular photo sharing service it owns, it seems like the public's attention will soon be diverted from them this week when the social-networking giant's big press conference takes place later today, where it's rumoured to be unveiling its own search engine.