mobile photography technology, culture and community

Instagram fallout sensationalized

 After a brief protest, some Instagram users are slowly returning to the service. Photojournalist Richard Koci Hernandez returned to Instagram yesterday after weeks of protest, saying "It's hard to walk away from a beloved community."

On Friday, the New York Post published a shocking statistic in an article about Instagram’s recent terms of service snafu. The story, titled “Rage against rules,” the Post claimed that photo sharing social network may have lost nearly a quarter of its daily active users after changing its Terms of Service earlier this month.

While many news outlets happily reposted the story as fact, a few dug deeper into the Post’s numbers. An Instagram spokesperson told Mashable: "This data is inaccurate. We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram."

Mashable broke down the numbers:

First of all, the Post article was cherry-picking numbers. AppData's record of Instagram's Daily Active Users plummeted from 16.4 million on December 19 to 12.4 million today. But the number of people who used Instagram in the last month actually rose in the same time period, from 42.5 million to 44 million. 

Read the rest of Mashable’s article here.

Instagram’s brand has been tarnished by the ToS scandal, and while some users are filing a lawsuit against the app and its new owner Facebook, many photographers are willing to return to the service following the CEO’s apology.

Richard Koci Hernandez—a photojournalist with more than 160,000 Instagram followers—returned to the social network yesterday. Hernandez (@koci) has been outspoken on the importance of mobile photography for journalism and was one of the first to boycott the app when it made the ToS changes. He justified his return to the service in a caption on his Instagram account:

I'm willing to post again due to the reversal of the TOS. As long as they stay the same and there is no funny business in the future. Fingers crossed. It's hard to walk away from a beloved community and I believe in second chances. Here's to a bright photographic future for all.


Total comments: 3

Rest assured, no one is going to pay big money for low resolution perfume on pig photographs. Get real people.

Anton Kawasaki

Well you could even say this article title is a bit sensationalized! ;-)
I'm actually NOT disagreeing with it -- it's so completely true! But it's just part of the story. There's a lot of serious and interesting debate going on out there regarding IG -- some of it is completely overblown and reactionary, while a lot of it is also delicately nuanced and goes far beyond just the TOS debacle. For many, the TOS moment was just the final nail in the coffin in terms of wanting to stay with Instagram. Others will faithfully stick with IG no matter WHAT happens! And then there are millions of others with varying degrees of feelings about IG in general, and its place.
The Mashable article linked above even has a big side order of "Yes, but..." that reinforces the idea that this is a very, very complex issue -- and while news of millions of users dropping the service MAY have been sensationalized, there's still a good chance the company may still be at risk.

Anton Kawasaki

Because IG is such a massively popular app that continues to make headlines, I'm going to treat any news I hear about it with a grain of salt -- but that doesn't mean I'll automatically discount anything either. There's a LOT of manipulation of facts on ALL sides, just like any other big news story (just look at politics!).

Total comments: 3
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