Instagram Loses Half Of Its Users In A Month, And Here’s Why

Instagram reportedly scared off about half of its users in December when it updated its original terms of service for the new year. The company, a unit of Facebook, has lost more than half of all its active users in a month since proposing to change its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

The company has since relented on its new terms after a week of social backlash, but many users haven’t returned. In mid-December, Instagram allegedly boasted 16.3 million daily active users. By January 14, Instagram only has about 7.6 million daily users.

In the new Terms of Service, the company had graciously granted themselves licensing rights to sell to third parties any photographs posted on the app, particularly to its parent company Facebook.

One passage in the proposal reads: “Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post on or through the service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content that you post on or through the service.”

Basically, users could set up restrictions on which of their photos are seen on Instagram, but no matter what Instagram restrictions were set, there would be no guarantee that an individual’s photos would not be used elsewhere. For example, Facebook could use an individual’s private photo from Instagram in a Facebook advertisement. Simply, Instagram’s old ToS said the company could place advertisements within the site and alongside people’s photographs; the new ToS said it could use these photos as advertisements, without a single cent owed to the person who originated the picture.

Amidst the social media uproar caused by the proposed change, Instagram quickly tried to recant the proposed update. But for many users, it was too late. The incident has clearly left “a bad taste” in users’ mouths regarding to company.

According to International Business Times, “Most Instagram users signed up to express themselves, not sell themselves — and certainly not to have someone else profit from their lives.”

This isn’t the first time Instagram has had issues over photo-sharing. But in earlier problems with Twitter, at least Instagram wasn’t scaring away customers.

What do you think about Instagram’s proposal?