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If They're Leaving Instagram, Where Are They Going?

Jan 16, 2013   |   Comment

There have been a few reports in the news lately about Instagram losing up to half of it's "daily active users" within the last month. For those that don't know, "daily active users" (DAU) is a figure used in the mobile app world to determine overall engagement, and therefore popularity, of an app. These recent valuations don't come from Instagram (or Facebook) but from third parties that track app statistics, so it's hard to say how precise they are for a number of reasons (that we won't get into - not our job).

Numbers aside, we're sure that Instagram has lost some of its users due to the frenzy surrounding the changes to their Terms of Service. But where are these photo fanatics going to share their beautiful snaps from now on? We scoured through the social media channels and came up with these theories:

Right before the "you-know-what" hit he fan, a lot of photo app alternatives were getting their buzz up. EyeEm and have been around for a while and are likely seeing a bump in user activity. Also, around the same time Instagram was doing damage control, Flickr revamped it's iPhone app and received more than enough praise to make at least a few defectors take their photos there.

Old Faithfuls
The few alternatives mentioned above are just a handful of the dozens of photo apps available. And being that there are so many, which one will guarantee maximum exposure (no pun), especially for the photo enthusiasts who want their pics to be seen (but not sold)? What good is sharing your photos on a network where your friends or fans aren't? Some of the users with these concerns are therefore falling back to existing social networks to distribute their pics. Twitter, having recently added filters to their list of features has been the answer for some, especially those who were auto-posting all of their Instagram updates to Twitter anyway. And as ironic as it may be, we've even seen folks mention Facebook as the new home of their photos, where they have more potential privacy options and the ability to share with the folks they know.

Another fragment of the disgruntled user base hasn't made a specific move. Some are sitting back and waiting to see how Instagram plans to operate in the future, not adding much (if any) activity to their Instagram feed. Others are still on Instagram, but have made their accounts private in order to "opt-out" their photos for commercial consideration. After all, migrating tons of photos to another network can be a hassle, as is starting over from zero in a new place.

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated - Mark Twain

Instagrams (self-inflicted) wound during the War For Your Photos has undoubtedly had an effect, but it may not mean it's death. Without a clear alternative to the popular app, incoming users and hard-to-break habits could be it's road to recovery.

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