You might've read a story today that a quarter of Instagrams millions upon millions of users abruptly stopped using the massively-popular service over Christmas. But there's good reason to believe this is crap—and Instagram flat out denies it.
The rumor, which has already knocked down Facebook's stock today, started with a little company named AppData, which makes its money tracking Facebook statistics and turning them into graphs. AppData claims it observed a 25% drop in "daily active users" over a few days this past week, and has correlated that into a gigantic plummeting for the entire service, attributable to its recent terms of service controversy. But "This data is inaccurate," an Instagram spokesperson told us. "We continue to see strong and steady growth in both registered and active users of Instagram."
So let's take a closer look at those numbers—something most people haven't so far. They represent a small subset of Instagram's users (those who connect their Instagram and Facebook accounts), which can't be said to definitively represent anything at all. It's certainly not proof that Instagram lost 25% of its entire base, particularly when AppData's own numbers say that Instagram's weekly and monthly users are steadily climbing.
If anything, this looks like an errant blip. Millions of people don't suddenly decide to abandon Instagram many days after the privacy scandal ends. Especially not when there are so many adorable, delicious holiday things floating around, begging to be photographed and filtered.