Instagram Gains New Users despite Changes in TOS
Image Source: http://mashable.com/
Despite the controversy in the changes made to terms of service (TOS), photo-sharing network Instagram revealed that it has gained new users. This was revealed when the company issued a statement last January 17. In its very first monthly user data revelation, Instagram said that they now have 90 million active users per month – a figure that’s 10% higher than last month’s. In a statement made to AllThingsD, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said that “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,” Systrom added. This may come as good news to Instagram since it’s been under a lot of controversy. Ever since it made some changes to its TOS,many users found the change to be either incredulous or downright ridiculous. Facebook bought the photo-sharing site for $1 billion reportedly in an effort to give Facebook a needed “facelift”. Some even went to speculate that Facebook didn’t want another bidder like Google to get it first. There are, however, some cynics with Instagram’s reports, especially with the timing. Instagram’s release of its monthly active user data comes after reports of user revolt have been made. Furthermore, the release of data was made 2 days before its updated TOS comes into effect. If you’re using Instagram on your personal or business phone, you’ve probably received a reminder in your e-mail in which Instagram says its “updated policies will be in effect as of January 19th, 2013”. The e-mail further states that the “policies also now take into account the feedback we received from the Instagram Community”.
The feedback being referred to was practically a massive user revolt when the company’s changes to the TOS seemed to imply that Instagram can sell photos of users to advertisers even without the users’ permission or consent. Instagram, however, was quick to make an effort to do damage control. In a blog post, Systrom tried to explain, saying that: “To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.” The updated language, however, wasn’t immediately available which made a lot of users doubtful of Instagram’s intentions. Then in another blog post, Systrom further explained: “Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed.” In another post, Systrom reiterated: “I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do.” It looks like Instagram is still doing some damage control. By revealing such active monthly users data, the company is trying to appease its current user base and entice new ones by saying that the company is not, in any way, suffering from user decline as what the New York Post and many other outlets have reported last month. The problem is, not everyone’s buying it. Experts say that the figures may fluctuate. Nevertheless, if Instagram continues to reveal such data, it may have some sort of credibility with experts and analysts, and eventually, the public.