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Instagram User Drop Claims Overblown

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the don't-let-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-good-dogpile dept.

Facebook 49

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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THAT IS WHAT MY GIRLFRIEND SAYS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42413913)

And I have to agree with her !!

VERY possible! (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:VERY possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414077)

Ya, I don't get it. Companies abuse their customers and ...the customers like it? Wow. People must be getting dumber by the day.

Re:VERY possible! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42414149)

Companies abuse their customers and ...the customers like it?

Sony roots paying customers' computers with vandalism malware, removes the OtherOS feature that paying customers already paid for, gets "hacked" by putting sensitive customer info in a plain text internet facing database, yet still there are people posting at slashdot talking about their new Sony TV or computer. Hell, there are even people here who defend the RIAA!

Yes, they're stupid and yes, they don't care that they're being assfucked. I guess some people like being assfucked.

Re:VERY possible! (1)

what2123 (1116571) | about 2 years ago | (#42414277)

I guess some people like being assfucked.

Most people just oppose screwing the ass in general.

Re:VERY possible! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414295)

The rootkits and hacking incidents were unfortunate, but removing OtherOS really gave them a lot of good publicity. Most people genuinely respect a company that goes out of their way to shun Linux users. When Steam eventually drops Linux support Gabe will basically transcend humanity and become a god.

Re:VERY possible! (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 2 years ago | (#42415485)

While I agree sony sucks, very few ps3 customers care if they can put Linux on their ps3 and there is nothing people can do about malware on a PC they already bought and thats easy to remove. Instagram's new TOS was saying they own all your photos and would sell them to anyone that paid and you'd get nothing. That's a little different then what Sony did.

I believe the 25% drop due to the new TOS, because if anything people are uploading MORE pics during the holidays, not less.

Re:VERY possible! (1)

englishstudent (1638477) | about 2 years ago | (#42414743)

My gf stopped using it because of the TOS. Most of her instagram friends were the same.

Re:VERY possible! (1)

cjjjer (530715) | about 2 years ago | (#42415005)

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.

Re:VERY possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415145)

until a picture uploaded by Justin Bieber sold by instagram pops up as a condom advert, then all the "celebrities" leave and takes all the hipster with them ....

Re:VERY possible! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#42417185)

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.

Re:VERY possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418183)

a mommy-blogger with a big following (dooce) went back to flickr cause of this.

Re:VERY possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42418199)

smee again. just checked and she's back on instagram it seems. but atleast it seems the issue was noticed far outside slashdot crowd.

Re:VERY possible! (1)

Paul Slocum (598127) | about 2 years ago | (#42419991)

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.

Yawn (0)

ddtmm (549094) | about 2 years ago | (#42413919)

Whatever...

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42413993)

Out of curiosity, what is the point in even taking the time to make such a pointless comment?

Re:Yawn (1)

GodInHell (258915) | about 2 years ago | (#42414021)

Dude had to yawn somewhere.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414155)

Out of curiosity, what is the point in even taking the time to make such a pointless comment?

My guess: Bait, hook, and sinker

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414761)

Whatever...

Out of curiosity, what is the point in even taking the time to make such a pointless comment?

Pointless? The GP seems to have quite effectively communicated in a single word his opinion regarding the attention bubble that social media companies are enjoying in the press and on wall street.

These articles... (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#42414033)

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?

Re:These articles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414191)

Because you love slashdot, and it's historically been the best tech news aggregator on the internet. The editors know we won't all just up and leave, even though we think they are terrible.

Re:These articles... (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42414819)

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.

Re:These articles... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42418021)

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 :/

Re:These articles... (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#42419033)

Buddy, you ain't a loser. You just like reading a lot.

Unwritten rules of comments sections (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415173)

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".

How is this "news for nerds"? (1, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#42414073)

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

Re:How is this "news for nerds"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414265)

Yeah, people still listen to three cord rock-n-roll, new black and white films come out all the time and people make their own food instead of just buying the frozen stuff at the local grocery store. How does that kinda thing happen? We feed them the latest technology and they just go back to the old, unrefined and hard way of doing things.

Re:How is this "news for nerds"? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#42414917)

... new black and white films come out all the time ...

Yes, but black and white films are not degraded and faded versions of color films.

Perhaps a more appropriate analogy would be to convert a color film to grayscale and to add some static to simulate a small black and white TV and its integrated antenna. :-)

8-track emulator ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#42414801)

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?

Re:8-track emulator ... (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 2 years ago | (#42415009)

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 we'll probably look back on these photos and think, oh yeah that must've been taken between 2010-2012.

Re:How is this "news for nerds"? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#42415815)

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 also sell Holga lenses (plastic and very poor quality) which mount on Canons and Nikons. But hey it goes back even further.
Many of the pictures I see coming out of instragram are reminiscent of cross processing whereby people took their nice C-41 negative films, loaded them into their swanky Leica cameras, and then took them to the lab and ran them through E-6 transparency chemicals. This was instragram back in the 60s, and often it looked good.

But then this article has nothing to do with why users use instragram, just how many and when. This is news. Seeing a seasonal change that causes a drop around Christmas time is the opposite of what I expectedness given how people are now amongst friends, family, or on holidays and more critically always connected via their phones.

Note the source (2)

davevt5 (30696) | about 2 years ago | (#42414081)

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.

Re:Note the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42417199)

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.

While I agree that the numbers seem bunk, "celebrities" like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian (who appeal to younger people, who are more likely to use the service) were rallying against the change. I doubt most would care anyway, but I think there may have been a bigger awareness than your average T&C rape event.

Re:Note the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42419451)

I wouldn't be too sure about that, I was listening to my preferred radio station (Xfm London) when I went to pick up my daughter from Brownies and the drivetime DJ was talking about it. It could have been an anomaly and most people were unaware of it, but I really think quite a lot of Instagram users would have picked up on it, of course maybe most of them feel like the pics they upload have no real value so they don't care if Facebook wants to sell them.

Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414095)

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

Plastic bag (1)

betterprimate (2679747) | about 2 years ago | (#42414153)

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.

Maybe (2)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#42414193)

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?

Re:Maybe (1)

betterprimate (2679747) | about 2 years ago | (#42414233)

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?

Addiction. (2)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Addiction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414361)

Nothing will change until a new dealer comes around with a better-marketed product.

FTFY.

Seriously, Instagram is there to publish pictures to the internet. That's been done before, and a lot of those services even have apps that'll do it for you. Instagram only has its hipster "cred" and marketability behind it. I'll allow you to insert your own analogy to whatever popular-yet-inferior company or product you hate, just to point out how a company can attain marketing superiority despite having an equivalent — or even inferior — product.

What the article actually reveals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414267)

that there is a company called AppData who seem to have successfully installed Spyware into millions of peoples devices and is now extracting data.

The mobile space is a cesspit of advertising/tracking/spying/stalking, sad really.

stock prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42414325)

Sounds like someone is trying to buy themselves time by talking other people into keeping their tanking stocks.

Check sources before discussing? (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#42414693)

So people have been vigorously discussing a subject without actually checking that the data provided make sense?

Like, how is that news?

Re:Check sources before discussing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416493)

(Posting anonymously)

I work for a company in the Facebook/Instagram-ish space. Our activity graphs look like this, and always look like this at this time of the year. There is a drop in activity on Thanksgiving, and a massive drop in activity around Christmas. I do not know if this applies to web traffic in general, but I would guess it does. I'm sure network engineers at Google/Amazon/Level 3/etc could answer this.

Hmm (1)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#42415279)

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

The Post? (1)

Triv (181010) | about 2 years ago | (#42415947)

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?

re policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415987)

irony they say the drop is because the holydays... but isnt now the time everyone post all the shit they got for christmas and parties they attended?

ridiculous (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42418061)

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.

Slow shift (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 2 years ago | (#42419223)

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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