‘Instasham’ costs Instagram half its users

Facebook-owned social network Instagram has lost half its active users since it controversially changed its terms of use, even though it backtracked on the new policies within a day.

Daily active users have fallen from almost 16.3 million to around 7.6 million, according to traffic monitoring firm AppStats.

Instagram changed its policies just before Christmas, claiming the right to sell users’ photographs without notification or payment. Users would have no way of opting out of the new rules unless they deleted their accounts.

A public outcry forced the company to reverse certain aspects of the new terms just the next day, claiming confusion over the new terms.

“It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation,” company co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post. “This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing.”

Yet it seems the U-turn has not prevented people from leaving Instagram. Though the site continues to acquire monthly users, who by definition post less frequently, the number of daily active users has declined dramatically.

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