SAN FRANCISCO Dec 28 Facebook Inc's
Instagram lost almost a quarter of its daily users a week after
it rolled out and then withdrew policy changes that incensed
users who feared the photo-sharing service would use their
pictures without compensation.
Instagram, which Facebook bought for $715 million this year,
saw the number of daily active users who accessed the service
via Facebook bottom out at 12.4 million as of Friday, versus a
peak of 16.4 million last week, according to data compiled by
online tracker AppData.
Instagram disputed the data.
"This data is inaccurate. We continue to see strong and
steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram,"
a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Friday.
It is unclear why the popular app, which allows people to
add filters and effects to photos and share them over the
Internet or smartphones, experienced the drop over the brief,
often-volatile holiday period.
Monthly active users edged up to 43.6 million as of Friday,
an increase of 1.7 million over the past seven days, according
Many users had taken to Twitter and other public forums in
the past week to threaten a pull-out.
The sharp slide in activity is bound to draw attention on
the heels of the controversial revision to Instagram's terms of
service that, among other things, allowed an advertiser to pay
Instagram "to display your username, likeness, photos (along
with any associated metadata)" without compensation.
The subsequent public outrage prompted an apology from
Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. Last week, a California
Instagram user sued the company for breach of contract and other
claims, in what may have been the first civil lawsuit to stem
from the controversial change.
Instagram subsequently reverted to some of its original
The move renewed debate about how much control over personal
data users must give up to live and participate in a world
steeped in social media.
Analysts say Facebook, the world's largest social network,
was laying the groundwork to begin generating advertising
revenue, by giving marketers the right to display profile
pictures and other personal information, such as who users
follow in advertisements.