Previous reports have indicated that Instagram may have lost as many as 25% of its daily active users following its terms of service fiasco last month. The authenticity of the numbers came under question, however, and CEO Kevin Systrom eventually denied the report. Instagram on Thursday released its latest monthly stats for the first time ever. The photo sharing service is now home to more than 90 million people each month with more than 40 million photos uploaded per day, along with 8,500 “likes” and 1,000 comments occurring each second. In fact, Instagram experienced user growth of 10% from December to January, the company claims.
Following Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in April, the popular photo sharing application grew more than 1,100% over the next six months. In looking to better monetize the service, Facebook (FB) updated its terms to help bring in new advertisers, however many users feared Facebook may be looking to sell or license their personal photos without their consent. The story spread like wildfire, panic ensued, some people deleted their accounts, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom eventually apologized, and the company reverted to its older terms of service. But was it already too late? More →
Zynga (ZNGA), the Facebook (FB) app behemoth, still reigns supreme on its most important platform. But the erosion of its dominant position continues as smaller rivals keep chipping away at its market share. On December 26, Zynga-owned Facebook applications had 267 million Monthly Active Users, down 20 million in two weeks. Far behind it followed Microsoft (MSFT) with 70 million MAU, King.com with 65 million MAU and Instagram with 43 million MAU. More →
Last week, Facebook (FB) announced to Instagram users that it planned to make changes to its terms of service that would open new doors for the company to better monetize its popular photo-sharing product. Worried that Facebook might begin selling photos or licensing them to advertisers without users’ permission, people panicked. Many even deleted their accounts. The company insisted that its policy changes were being misunderstood, but the backlash was too great and it eventually relented, dialing back the change and reverting to its older terms of service. As Reuters reports, however, it was already too late. More →
Faced with a user backlash against its updated terms of service, Instagram on Thursday backed down and said it was reverting to its prior language that dealt with how user photos could be used in conjunction with advertisements. The new terms of service caused an uproar because they told users that they must “agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you.” Under the original terms, which made no explicit mention of licensing out photos for business advertisements, users needed to “agree that Instagram may place… advertising and promotions on the Service or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content.” In announcing the decision to go back to the older terms, Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom said that in the future the company will “take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work” rather than springing changes on users through terms of service updates.
Instagram responds to backlash following controversial policy change, says it will not sell users’ photos
Facebook (FB)-owned Instagram on Tuesday responded to widespread backlash after making changes to the service’s terms of service that reportedly allowed the company to license users’ photos to advertisers without their permission. In a statement, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom insists that the company does not intend to sell users’ photos, and it will again revise its terms to make its intentions more clear. “Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed,” the executive wrote. “We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.” Systrom’s full statement follows below. More →
News broke early Tuesday morning that Facebook (FB) was looking to monetize its more than 100 million Instagram users with a controversial new plan. The company published new terms of service that gave Facebook the right to license all public Instagram photos to companies and other organizations for advertising purposes. The only way to opt-out of Facebook’s plan is to delete your account before January 16th. More →
Remember when we worried that Facebook (FB) would wreck the Instagram experience by adding lots of advertisements next to user photos? Well it turns out that the company’s plans to monetize the popular photo-sharing app are actually much worse. As CNET reports, Instagram has published new terms of service that give Facebook “the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency.” More →
The beauty of Instagram is its simplicity and lack of advertisements. But if comments made by Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s (FB) vice president of global marketing solutions are accurate, advertisements could be coming to Instagram in the near future. When asked if Facebook would put ads on the photo-sharing app and micro social network, Everson said that “eventually we’ll figure out a way to monetize Instagram.” Given Instagram’s explosive growth since Facebook acquired it in April for $1 billion, it makes sense for the social network to expect a return on its investment. Everson didn’t mention a specific timeframe for when Facebook plans to monetize Instagram, but said that many brands are using the platform to engage with followers and that monetization was definitely “going to happen.”
Instagram updated its Android and iOS apps on Monday to version 3.2 with a set of tweaks that add more editing features and a new filter called “Willow.” The new Instagram has a new in-app camera with a viewfinder that resembles a Kodak Brownie Starflash, grid-rulers for finding the perfect composition, improved tilt-shift blurring and enhanced Foursquare integration that redirects to the app to provide more location data. Photos that are saved are now stored in their own folder instead of to the camera roll’s and profile pages now have infinite scrolling. The most important portion of the update is the new Willow filter that gives photos “a monochrome filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent glowing white border.”
Twitter takes a page from Instagram’s playbook, adds photo filters to iPhone and Android apps [video]
Twitter on Monday rolled out an update to its iPhone and Android applications that adds filters, photo frames and an auto-enhance capability to its image sharing feature. Available immediately for the iOS and Android-powered handsets, the new feature is basically pulls all of the features that made Instagram a billion-dollar company and shamelessly repackages them. Twitter’s new photo editing capabilities are powered by Aviary, according to a post on the company’s blog, and the video below showcases the highlights. More →
Twitter seems set to directly take on Instagram. The New York Times is reporting that the social network with over 500 million active users will soon be targeting Facebook’s (FB) Instagram with photo filters of its own. The report states Twitter plans to update its mobile apps to allow users to bypass Instagram and get straight to editing photos before they share them with their followers. More →