February 27, 2013
Instagram Thwarts Rumors Of Decline By Surpassing 100 Million Users
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Reaching this number has been no easy task for the Instagram team, who has had to stave off two recent alleged exoduses from the service. Each time, Instagram has shown growth in their active user base.
“It´s easy to see this as an accomplishment for a company, but I think the truth is that it´s an accomplishment for our community,” writes Systrom in a nostalgic look back at the previous two and a half years of life with Instagram.
“Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram–sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe. What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs,” he adds.
Systrom then goes on to mention some of the more feel-good stories of Instagram, such as users who photograph their work with the UN or small upstart companies who use Instagram to reach out to their customers in a new way.
Instagram users first threatened to leave the service when it was announced almost a year ago that Facebook planned to buy the photo sharing network.
Many had worried Facebook would begin doing something dirty with Instagram, such as using it to leverage advertising or even bring advertising into the Instagram feed itself. Two months after this announcement – and after the app was finally released on Android – Systrom and Crew announced they had 800 million users. Clearly, the promise to stay away from a Facebook-owned Instagram wasn´t kept by many.
In December, Systrom announced some new proposed changes to their terms of service agreement which allowed Instagram to sell their users´ photos to third parties “without compensation” to the user.
The whole of the Internet had a collective conniption upon hearing this news as many wondered what Instagram planned to do with these photos. At worst, some claimed these third parties would only be allowed to use the photos in other social media applications.
Systrom wrote a second blog, saying that it was never Instagram´s intention to sell these photos; they just wanted the permission to do so should they ever get the itch. A few days later Systrom announced that the company would go back to their original terms of service without the permission to sell these photos. Though many angrily vowed to never come back to Instagram, it looks as if these users have either been replaced or, like the company they spoke against, were not very honest about their intentions.