Instagram’s Insta-Scam

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I know, I know, great title.

The Internet was upset yesterday, mostly over an update to the terms of service offered by photo sharing giant Instagram. The bit that seems to have everyone so angry is as follows:

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Instagram has reserved the right to sell content created by its users. The platform is currently offered at no charge, thought they are looking for ways to turn usage of their product into a profit while maintaining a no cost offering. It’s tricky business.

Instagram-shotI think the Internet has devalued the free exchange of ideas and products. Applications and programs are products, even if they aren’t physical. It’s easy to complain about Facebook and Instagram and the new policies they write in order to make money, but the truth is we use those products for no cost. Of course, eventually, there has to be some incentive for the makers of these products to offer them for free.

In my opinion, the greater issues isn’t that Instagram wants to sell pictures, it’s that they’ve offered no alternative. There is no paid option, no “free with ads” option, no, the only option they’ve proposed includes selling your pictures.

Instagram released a statement yesterday, insuring us that they’re “listening.” Furthermore, “The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement.”

It’s nice to know they’ve noticed the millions of aggravated tweets. While they’ve yet to offer a solution, let’s hope they come up with something with options.

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