Instagram user figures revealed: photo service bigger than Germany

Insta-less users

The web has been in a filter-fitted flutter since Instagram announced changes to its terms of service, and tech sites have been scouring the web for clues of the site's vital signs.

Most estimates of how Instagram is fairing post-new Ts & Cs seemed pretty grim, but today the photo-filtering service officially released some stats of its own.

According to its press center, Instagram can report 90 million monthly active users who are snapping 40 million photos a day.

It can also boast 8,500 likes per second accompanied by 1,000 comments per second.

"Instagram continues to see very strong growth around the world," said Founder Kevin Systrom in a statement.

"With many of the product and internationalization improvements we've made, we've been excited to see these efforts resonate with users globally."

Unfortunately, we don't really have any other internal numbers to compare these figures to, as Instagram didn't share any other stats despite a request from TechRadar.


The Facebook-owned company caused quiet a stir when it announced its new terms of service last month. Among other changes, the new terms give the company full run to use customers' pictures in advertisements without notifying or compensating the users who submitted the content.

Since then reports have been circling around the web of users leaving the site in a mass exodus. Analytic service AppStats had been showing wild fluctuations in Instagram userage.

On December 17, AppStats reported Instragram had 16.35 million active daily users. A month later on January 12, that number dropped to nearly half - dropping to 7.81 million daily users.

Between those dates, we saw a roller coaster of figures with the lowest daily user base recorded at 5.2 million the day the new terms were announced on December 18, bouncing back to 15.88 million users the very next day.

Now AppStats data reporting isn't perfect, and the service only tracks accounts that are connected to Facebook instead of those logging onto Instagram, as pointed out by AllThings D. A majority of users don't link their Facebook and Instagram profiles.

What's more, AppStats was tracking daily user numbers, which is conceivably subject to more fluctuation than monthly figures.

Although getting enough info to get an accurate gauge on how the site is doing is difficult, we do have one bit to go by: Instagram said it hit the 100 million users milestone September, while now it's sitting at 90 million monthly active users. But again, that's not a perfect comparison.

The photo service hasn't been too public about its user base since its inception, so we don't have the clearest picture of what is going on month to month or even day to day.

But it seems like there has been a decline in Instagram's user base since the terms of service kerfuffle.

However, the story isn't over yet. The new terms will go into effect on January 19, so it seems we still have a few more turns to go on this Instagram carnival ride.