Last month The New York Post sought to spice up the post-Christmas doldrums by reporting that Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram was bleeding users after announcing some controversial policy changes. That report was widely denounced as sketchy. At the time Instagram called the claims false but didn’t provide any numbers to refute it. Now it has.
Today, Instagram added some stats to its press site showing that the service attracts 90 million monthly active users. The service also shared that its users upload 40 million photos per day, click its "like" button 8,500 times per second and leave 1,000 comments per second.
Instagram didn’t state how its monthly user number has trended of late, but All Things D reported that the monthly user base has grown by 10 percent between December and January, which contradicts any notion that Instagram users were exiting the service en masse. But as All Things D notes, Instagram isn’t sharing its daily active user numbers. The Post’s report zeroed in on daily usage declines as indicative of user revolt, but the timing of those declines seemed more in line with less people using Instagram on Christmas than any kind of policy-induced boycott.
Instagram’s internal numbers also shed light on the Post’s relatively narrow sourcing. The Post relied on numbers from social/mobile app analytics firm AppData that showed only 43.6 million monthly active users at the time. But AppData can only measure users that connect their Instagram accounts with Facebook, which the analytics firm makes clear on its site.
Nonetheless, the idea that about half of Instagram’s users have connected their accounts with Facebook should be encouraging for proponents of Facebook as a platform (CEO Mark Zuckerberg being the biggest backer of that concept) and apps seeking to build a user base on Facebook’s platform.