Instagram's controversial proposal to change its terms and conditions has already caused a huge public backlash, which we had predicted would cause a mass exodus.

It appears that could now well be under way, with active users dropping by almost a quarter over the Christmas period, from a 16.4 million peak down to 12.5 million as of 27 December 2012, according to a New York Post article.

Earlier this month we reported that Instagram's new terms and conditions would allow the company rights to sell your pictures without any compensation, which sparked internet outrage around the globe.

Instagram did partially back down, by explaining - in tail between legs fashion - that it was not the company's intention to sell users' photos and that "legal documents are easy to misinterpret".

Although the figures, sourced from analytics company AppData, don't represent the entirety of Instagram's 100 million user base, we think it's a pretty clear interpretation of what Instagram alumni think about the changes. This one looks like a straight-up case of people power to us, as the only way to boycott the new terms and conditions was for users to delete their accounts.

Looks as though the Facebook-owned service has damaged user trust irreparably, while the introduction of Twitter's photo filters is also likely to have had some additional impact on the figures.

What do you think - the full picture or only half the story; will Instagram users exit in their millions, or is this a temporary holiday blip?