Instagram Silences Critics, Reports 90 Million Monthly Active Users

18 January 2013, 2:12 pm EST By Johnny Wills email: Mobile & Apps

For the first time, Instagram revealed the number of monthly active users to silence critics' reports about a sharp drop in company's active user base, atributed to the recent change in its terms of service.

The Facebook-owned company revealed that 90 million people are using its photo sharing service on monthly basis, which is up by 10 million as compared to Dec. 2012.

In a statistics report posted on its press page, Instagram also revealed that it handles 40 million photos every day. In addition, Instagram's users like 8,500 photos per second and post 1,000 comments per second.

"Instagram continues 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," said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom to AllThingsD.

This is the first time Instagram has released traffic statistics to the public. Undoubtedly, the reason behind the release is to silence reports that criticize Instagram over the recent terms of service changes. The entire media was surprised over the reports that users were leaving Instagram in large numbers.

Back in December, the New York Post, citing figures from AppData, reported that Instagram experienced 25 percent drop in daily active users - down from 16.4 million to 12.4 million.

Some other Web sites even reported fallout of 50 percent or more users from the numbers given by AppData. However, as it turns out, AppData's information was misleading.  Many users prefer not to connect Instagram and Facebook accounts, which may have resulted in lack of precision in earlier reports as AppData's figures comes from Facebook-connected accounts only.

In December, Instagram altered its terms of service to suggest that it could sell photos that were uploaded to third-parties without permission. Additionally, the photos could be used for third-party advertising. The new terms also forced users for arbitration to settle legal disputes, which dismissed any right to sue the Facebook-owned company.

Instagram later re-altered its terms in response to opposition from public, including celebrities. However, the damage was already done.

Instagram is still hiding some figures, such as the number of daily active users. As it appears, the photo sharing service does not want to reveal every number to avoid giving credibility to previous reports that claimed day-to-day decline in daily active users.

Presently, Instagram is back on track and it seems that the change in policies controversy didn't take a bite out of the photo sharing service.

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