Instagram reported, Friday, a 10% user growth between December 2012 and January 2013, weeks after the company’s announcement of major modifications to its privacy policy and terms of service, which pushed the photo sharing service into a downward spiral last year.


“Our community has grown by many millions of people since we wrote our original Terms of Service and Privacy Policy” wrote Instagram in an email today.

There are now more than 90 million monthly active Instagram users worldwide sharing 40 million photos per day, with 8500 ‘likes’ and 1000 comments per second.

“With many of the product and internationalization improvements we’ve made, we’ve been excited to see these efforts resonate with users globally.” said Kevin Systrom, in a statement to AllThingsD.

Interestingly, AppData’s latest figures for monthly active users on Instagram reveals a total of 45 million active users only. However, this cannot be taken as a misrepresentation by the company as AppData only tracks the number of users that have their Facebook accounts connected to Instagram, since it doesn’t have full access to Instagram’s metrics.

In December last year, Instagram announced updates to its privacy policy and terms of service, which attracted a great outcry from its user base backtracking the photo sharing service into losing many of its active users.

According to Instagram’s updated privacy policy, the photo sharing service previously claimed a right to sell user content “username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions” to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), itself and third parties.

In response to this update, the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) owned photo sharing service lost 4 million daily active users, this represents a decline in its active users from 16.4 million to 12.4 million.

Instagram, however denied the figures provided by AppData, claiming that the data was inaccurate. In addition, Instagram withdrew the terms it had originally posted on its offical blog, claiming that they had been ‘misinterpreted’  and would therefore be re-iterated.

“The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.” Systrom wrote.

Despite the re-assurance to its customers, many users weren’t persuaded, and quit the site. Hence Instagram, while announcing the official figures of its current registered and active users, made sure that the choice of words in its official email was concise enough to remind its members that the updates to its privacy policy are not going to change how users own their photos.

“These updates don’t change the fact that you own your photos that you post on Instagram, and our privacy controls work just as they did before.” wrote Instagram in an email.