According to a recent analysis conducted by experts at SimilarWeb, the decision to implement stricter censorship on content may not have a significant negative impact on a given brand in the short term. That's a conclusion that the marketing experts reached after watching Spotify’s install base and active users throughout the month of May, following the company’s implementation of new censorship policies. Although the removal of artists' content deemed to be "hateful or harmful" did cause a backlash, the number of Spotify installs and users remained mostly unaffected. By the numbers, SimilarWeb says that the install rate was steady at approximately 19-percent, while active user numbers were stable at around 17-percent. With consideration for the past six months, those figures were consistently stable. According to Gitit Greenberg, Senior Director of Marketing Insights at SimilarWeb, that’s not confined to Spotify either. In fact, a similar trend has been noted on both Snapchat and Facebook.
What makes that intriguing is that it seems to suggest that Facebook hasn't been profoundly affected by its various controversies over the past few months. The social media giant has, of course, slowly declined for several years among the younger generation but there doesn't appear to be any real correlation with those scandals. Instead, the outcry about what is perceived as overbearing censorship appears to be mostly noise. Snapchat's problems have been predominantly minor by comparison, as have Spotify's. In each case, the theme seems to carry through and seems to indicate that controversy has a minimal impact at best.
That's not to say that none of the recent debacles aren't going to have severe negative consequences for whatever company happens to be embroiled in it. However, the figures themselves could be viewed as adding weight to the notion that users are simply too addicted to their smartphones and apps. Specifically, it could raise questions about whether they're simply too attached to their social media accounts or music services to take action when something about the company running those accounts upsets them.