Nathan Bransford, Author

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Instagram Flap

In case you haven't seen the news, Instagram sent the Internet sputtering when they changed their terms of service that gives them the ability to license photos.

In my take for CNET, I argue that providing the platform shouldn't mean owning the content, and Instagram has reminded us yet again that when the service is free, we are the product.


Anonymous said...


The Pen and Ink Blog said...

I am not fond of instagram, in any case because I don't like the quality of their photos. It's just as easy to post to Facebook from my droid.

Josin L. McQuein said...

I find the presence of a picture of the Pied Piper in the "other post" suggestions rather ironic. Thankfully some people stop listening to the music long enough to read the fine print.

Kastie Pavlik said...

I don't use Instagram, but my friends do and have posted pictures of me. I've asked them to take them down. The thought of my image being licensed without my knowledge creeps me out.

Tricia said...

What is instagram?

Nancy Kelley said...

One of the most succinct comments I saw stated that there's no such thing as a free service: You either pay in cash, or in personal data.

LA Janssen said...

I read Systrom's rebuttal and one point I noticed is that if you don't want to be caught up in being potentially involved in an Instagram 'ad', make sure you don't 'like' businesses that make them. Seriously, did anyone with a biz mind REALLY read this crap before they released it? Sounds like a whole lot of somebodies really didn't bother to read AND think through the implications. Such a bunch of half-hearted backpedaling... Thanks for your post

Mira said...

What is Instagram doing?!

Why alientate and drive all of your customers away to other services? This is just bonkers.

And legally on a thin line, when it comes the content of the photo. To say you own a photo when the people photographed in it were paid no fees and may have been photographed without permission - this is dicey.

It's worth noting that Facebook bought Instagram in September, and less than 3 short months later, this happened.

Coincidence? Or is this the type of thing Facebook can do.

Mirka Breen said...

"When the service is free, YOU are the product-"-

From Economics 101

Yup, you got it. Again.

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Naja Tau said...

Good to know! Thanks for the heads up.

abc said...

Love your CNET article! I also love Instagram and will continue to use it no matter what. I highly doubt they'll do anything that would cause them too much trouble. I figured the PR nightmare of all this backlash would/will be enough (that blog post you quote from means they are already on it) to fix the issues.

I'm not going to worry.

Stephen Wright said...

Instagram has many power users with very few tools.
InstaPower User has more than one tool.
Follow/Unfollow tool: see how many followers have liked or commented as well as if you follow them back or not.
Comment response tool: manage your posts, see how many comments and how many replies you have made (included @username in comment)
Ghost Identification: find the followers who do not comment or like your posts. You can then decide to unfollow or remove one by one or all ghost users.
Problems Solved.
Like twitter bots, no need for webstagram, instafrmanger, instafollower
Why You need it?
One tool does it all - for real instagram users
Why fund it?
I need your help to make it better and to make it succeed.
How funding will help?
I am asking for your help to beta test, improve my application, improve the user interface, eliminate bugs and help me create the perfect icon. Any extra funds will help speed up the development time of the iPad and iPhone version. I am really looking to get as many people involved in this project as possible. The success of these apps are solely dependent upon the support of the users.

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