Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has blocked the public view of Instagram's traffic data, as per a report from TechCrunch. Instagram's page on AppData, showing user numbers based on data obtained from Facebook's API, now shows a message "Facebook no longer reports new data for this application."
In an example given by TechCrunch, on January 7th, Instagram showed 45.8 million monthly active users, the same stats were zero as of yesterday. Clarifying the intent, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) told that the move will bring Instagram at par with its other apps, which don't appear separately in AppData.
"We don't provide app usage metrics for apps owned or created by Facebook through our API," a spokesperson told TechCrunch. "We've updated our API to reflect this for Instagram, which would remove it from AppData's rankings."
The move is the outcome of the new policy guidelines issued by Instagram last month. The new policy claims to have right to sell the users snaps. The policy was criticized by all users, following which the company removed the language in question and promised not to sell member photos.
At that time, the new policy guidelines read “ To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
It goes on to succinctly state “Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service.”
A follow up on the controversy by New York Post claimed that the incident caused Instagram to lose almost 25 percent of its active users. However, CNET reported that Instagram denied the report by AppData saying “This data is inaccurate.” “We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram” the company’s spokesperson told CNET in an email.
AppData itself changed its stance, saying the decline in users might have resulted from the holiday season and not by the new policy guidelines.
Whatever might be the case, with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) no longer treating Instagram a special app, its user numbers will now become more challenging to track.