The founder of the Berlin-based startup, Florian Meissner, told German newspaper Die Welt that “the Facebook mentality won’t do”, reacting to the infringement of the privacy rights of Instagram users. The scandal was over changes in the terms of service, which implied that the site has the power to sell users’ photos to advertisers without first getting permission. The news caused a furor on Twitter and within the internet sphere, with users publicly protesting and announcing intentions to delete their accounts, plus Instagram being hit with a class action lawsuit.
While reports claim user numbers on Instagram dropped in the aftermath of the drama, EyeEm gained heightened interest and a flock of new users – with a 30 per cent monthly growth in sign ups, adding up to over half a million downloads in total. This could also be a response to the strict and clear privacy policies on EyeEm.
EyeEm launched on the Apple and Android app stores in August 2011 and offers users a little extra than the standard Instagram filters and social network; the Berlin startup lets users follow people with similar interests and shows photos from nearby users.
The founders are busy improving the app and capitalising on the current spike in attention, though Meissner told Die Welt that, at the beginning of the startup, the founders “were four newbies. We had no idea, we made heaps of mistakes, but also learnt a huge amount”.