While there was a lot of rhetoric concerning the Instagram terms of service mess
recently, most observers of these kinds of things noted that for all the claims from people that they were "quitting" the service, few people ever actually follow through on such threats. So, it surprised some this morning when the NY Post reported that Instagram users actually did flee
in large droves, citing data from a company called AppData. They argued that there was a potential 25% decline in users, which is huge. The news apparently contributed to
Facebook's stock dropping by nearly 3%... despite the claim being almost entirely bogus.
Even a quick
look at the data that AppData presented should have raised some eyebrows:
As lots of folks pointed out, starting with Zachary Seward at Quartz (linked above), the drop shown does not occur until December 24th... a good week after
the whole controversy went down. Furthermore, AppData does not measure all Instagram usage at all, but the small subset of people who have connected their Instagram accounts to their Facebook accounts
. But most people just use Instagram as a mobile app, and AppData doesn't measure that.
Meanwhile, Robin Wauters over at TheNextWeb does a brilliant job of showing plenty of other services
that AppsData's "data" also shows "plunged" during the same time period, including Yahoo! Social bar, which shot up... and then back down:
Or Pinterest, which dropped a bunch during that same time period:
Wauters lists a bunch of other examples as well, all suggesting that maybe the original claim by AppData, repeated by the NY Post (and then others) had little basis in reality.