Love It or Leave It

instaDid you hear all the moaning and groaning that went on today? Millions of Instagram users found out that the photos they have been posting on the app might be used by the photo-sharing service without any permission or compensation to them? Instagram stated that as of January 16th, any photos that you add to your account (or possibly any existing ones) can be used for their advertising, sponsored content, or promotions. You still own your photos, but now you are giving Instagram “a service license” to use your content.

The press, bloggers, and Instagram users went wild on every social media site (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to name a few) complaining about this misuse of personal photos. What is even worse is that the public at large can appear in an Instagram advertisement just by innocently being included in the photo that was posted. For example, if I was in a group photo taken at an office party and it was posted on Instagram, my face could eventually end up on the side of a bus if it was chosen for a company advertising campaign. I don’t have to be an Instagram user, just an innocent bystander.

There was so much commotion about this that Kevin Systrom, Chief Executive at Instagram, issued a statement late today that said the public got the wrong message and they were going to spell it out in “easier to understand” language in the next day or two. I call their response ”back peddling” because they never expected such a backlash.

This is where social media is so terrific. I hope every senior who reads this post starts to understand why social media platforms are so important in this day and age. Facebook and Twitter are not just for posting what people ate for lunch, but rather to discuss very important issues. In this case, a ground swell may have reversed Instagram’s earlier decision.

It was cleverly pointed out in the press that Instagram has to do something to make money. Facebook paid $1 billion for it last April and is now pressuring them to produce because they want a big return on their investment. Funny how members of Facebook may have killed their first attempt to become a cash cow. I personally find it very rewarding to be alive during the evolution of technology and software programs. Let’s see where this story ends up.

In case you want more info, click here for The New York Times explanation.

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3 thoughts on “Love It or Leave It

  1. A very clear and astute summary of the Instagram fiasco and how social media plays such a integral role in keeping greedy corporate interests in check.

    I encourage you to explore the notion that “if you’re not the customer, you’re the product,” the hot topic now that folks are starting to realize nothing is for free — even on the Internet.

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