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Instagram has responded to yesterday’s odd report that it lost 25% of its active users.”This data is inaccurate,” an Instagram spokesperson told Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. “We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram.”
(A Facebook spokesperson told us the same thing.)
A minor kerfuffle kicked up when AppData showed Instagram’s daily active users dropping sharply on Christmas day. AppData tracks usage through Facebook log-ins, so it’s absolute numbers are useless, but its trends should be informative.
For some reason AppData told the New York Post that it thought the reason for the steep usage decline was Instagram’s change in terms of service. On December 17, Instagram updated its terms of service with scary language that suggested it was going to take users’ photos and sell them as advertising. Four days later, Instagram walked back that language.
It didn’t make any sense to blame the terms of service controversy since it was a full week after it started that AppData showed a drop. It also didn’t make sense to see a decline on Christmas since lots of people were taking pictures of their family, their new toys, photos of photos of themselves as little kids, and posting them to Instagram.
If anything, there seems to be something wrong with AppData’s data. Robin Wauters at The Next Web notes that AppData data shows the same sort of steep drop for Pinterest, Spotify, Farmville 2, and many other apps, on Christmas day.