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Instagram User Drop Claims Overblown 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-let-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-good-dogpile dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "When AppData first posted a graph showing a 25 percent drop in Instagram's daily active users, it sparked a flurry of discussion online—much of it focused on the recent controversy over the photo-sharing service's Terms of Use. The New York Post, for example, blamed the dip on a 'revolt' among Instagram users incensed over changes in the Terms of Use, including new legalese that some interpreted as blanket permission for the service to start selling user photos to advertisers. But a new statement from AppData, which tracks app traffic, suggests there's another cause behind the dip in daily active users: the season. 'The decline in Facebook-connected daily active users began closer to Christmas, not immediately after the proposed policy changes,' read a statement the firm sent to The Wall Street Journal. 'The drop between Dec. 24 and 25 seems likely to be related to the holiday, during which time people are traveling and otherwise have different routines than usual.'" It's also possible (likely, even) that there's no loss of users at all. AppData only checks a subset of Instagram users, and the photo-sharing site itself has said the data represented there is not accurate. Another article points out that several other Facebook-related services showed significant drops, according to AppData, which could suggests a problem with the entire platform or with the data gathering methods.
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Instagram User Drop Claims Overblown

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  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:26PM (#42413915)

    It's also possible (likely, even) that there's no loss of users at all.

    Considering what users put up with in Facebook, I'd say it is very likely that the controversy was limited to the slashdot crowd.

    • My gf stopped using it because of the TOS. Most of her instagram friends were the same.
    • by cjjjer (530715)
      Or the users they lost were made up by new cell phone / tablet users. Considering 17 million iOS and Android devices were activated on the 25th seems more plausible that they just got new users.
    • Considering what users put up with in Facebook, I'd say it is very likely that the controversy was limited to the slashdot crowd.

      Anecdotally it was not. My 20-something niece who barely cares about facebook-privacy type issues despite my best efforts actually cancelled her instragram account before I had even heard about this controversy. I sent her an email around noon the day it broke on slashdot and she immediately wrote back to say she had already cancelled a couple of hours before. I hadn't even expected her to care, much less take such drastic action.

    • I don't think so, I saw posts all over Facebook and Twitter about it with many people saying that they were planning to close their Instagram accounts.
  • If Slashdot is just going to turn into a slew of these crappy articles, why shouldn't I just finally give up the ship and go read Mashable or TechCrunch, which focus on this kind of shitty content that nobody cares about unless they're a talking-head on a shitty tech podcast that has to dig up content to fill time for the masses every morning?

    • by Jetra (2622687)
      Because you have nothing better to do on a Friday night than scan the articles and post your thoughts on a subject that resonates with you.
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Fuck you.

        I only say that because you're right ... as I sit here on friday night doing just that (well, okay saturday morning, but I started on friday night!)

        I say fuck you because I hate when people I right about pointing out my being a loser :/

    • why shouldn't I just finally give up the ship and go read Mashable or TechCrunch

      Because you won't already know the unwritten rules of their respective comments sections, and your first few comments will be moderated down. Or because of "Login to Facebook to Post a Comment".

  • Seriously. Cell phones finally started getting decent cameras to take pictures with so now people run filters to make them look like faded polaroids?

    • Seriously. Cell phones finally started getting decent cameras to take pictures with so now people run filters to make them look like faded polaroids?

      Are there 8-track emulator apps yet that play a song from your digital library, fade out in the middle, play a loud mechanical thunk sound effect, and then fade the song back in?

      • by Gordo_1 (256312)

        Yeah, I never understood this Instagram thing.

        After the first trickle of photos started appearing, I thought, hmm, ok I guess cross-processing (an old photography technique where you develop one film using the chemicals for a different film type) is coming back in style. Little did I know that some website was allowing anyone to do it with a mouse click and that everyone and their grandmother would discover it all at once, rendering virtually all photos from the past few years an ugly mess. Funny thing is w

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Seriously. Cell phones finally started getting decent cameras to take pictures with so now people run filters to make them look like faded polaroids?

      No. People run filters to create an artistic view of what they are trying to present. Sometimes this is a faded polarioid look trying to make a picture look old fashioned, sometimes it's one of many other filters instagram offers.

      It's laughable that you think it his a recent fad. People have been toying with fake colour and intentionally crippled photography for years to achieve certain effects. Take a look at the Holga line of plastic cameras that the hipsters have recently made all the more popular. They

  • by davevt5 (30696) on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:40PM (#42414081) Homepage Journal

    We in our tech circles know about the T&C of Instagram but to think that 25% of Instagram users know anything about this--much less care enough to stop using the service simply does not pass the sniff test.

    NY Post, a questionably new source to begin with citing AppData, a company that has to use conjecture to create insight means there is NO NEWS HERE PEOPLE.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully Facebook will go down the drain soon. It has been a plague on the internet since it's birth.

  • So a sensational article covering a sensational article about something that had no basis of claim.

    Now for my next favorite past time: sticking my head in a plastic bag taped-shut while running.

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:50PM (#42414193) Homepage Journal

    Maybe given that it is the holiday season a subset of users of such services decided to spend time with real people like real friends and family for a change? You know, instead of the hundreds of 'friends' they've never even met?

    • Maybe given that it is the holiday season a subset of users of such services decided to spend time with real people like real friends and family for a change? You know, instead of the hundreds of 'friends' they've never even met?

      But how do you capture the memory with a filter?

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Friday December 28, 2012 @04:58PM (#42414257)
    Users are addicted to the false sense of hipsterness that they get from instagraming their dirty laundry. And what happens when the dealer ups the price? They just pay more. Not even something like this in the TOS would affect user base:

    ...and we own all your photos and information. We will sell everything you upload to anyone who pays us money for it (including governments, law enforcement, courts, coworkers, your current, future and ex partners, etc)...

    Nothing will change until a new dealer comes around with a better product.
  • So people have been vigorously discussing a subject without actually checking that the data provided make sense?

    Like, how is that news?
  • by koan (80826)

    I doubt most people using Instagram understand the implications (if any) created by the policy change.

  • Let me get this straight, the New York Post histrionically asserted something with little consideration for a developing story and ran with it before all the facts were in?

    NO WAY.

    Did you know that water is wet, too?

  • Yes, if there's one thing that calms down social media and photo taking, it's holidays, being around family, and traveling. What a load of bullshit.
  • I know a few people that used this as an excuse to jump ship back to Flickr, now that Flickr's app is pretty good. But I've got a lot of contacts on Instagram, so I'm weaning myself off of Instagram by posting my pictures on a delay, and providing links to my Flickr account. I'm still counted as an 'active' user, particularly on a weekly basis, but I'm using the service less. I'll be keeping my account to look at the photos that friends are posting for the foreseeable future, though.

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