Instagram Loses Half Of Its Active Users After New Terms Of Use Controversy

By Khurram Aziz email: k.aziz@mobilenapps.com | Jan 15, 2013 12:05 PM EST

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The number of people using Instagram on a daily basis has dropped by half, according to data from research firm AppStats.

The company said the giant dip in users can be traced back to Dec. 18 when the company announced its updated terms.

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Graphs on AppStat's Web site shows that the active users figure recovered shortly after the dip, but has continued to decline week on week to half of where it was before the updates went live.

On Dec. 17, the app had 16.35 million people using it every day but that dropped down to 5.2 million the following day. The figure was back to 15.88 million on Dec. 19 but on Jan. 12 the figure rests at around 7.81 million active daily users. That's a massive drop of 8 million users.

The controversial terms which caused the backlash centered around copyright ownership. In particular, users thought Instagram's new terms gave it permission to sell their photographs to advertisers without paying them anything.

This prompted a wave of protests from those leery that Instagram was claiming ownership of their snaps, and even led to the likes of Kim Kardashian - Instagram's most popular user - threatening to close her account.

In the end Intagram CEO Kevin Systrom, issued a  retraction and apology, saying that the company will take out the offensive clause from its new terms.

However, this seems to have failed to stem the tide of those deserting the app.

The news of Instagram's shrinking user base comes as a report revealed that it's parent company, Facebook, also lost around 600,000 users in the UK over Christmas.

Instagram's updated Terms of Service are due to come into effect on Jan. 19.

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