Instagram (AKA Facebook) in the News

Instagram hit the news with a bang today, and for all the wrong reasons.

They changed their privacy policy so that they have permission to sell any photos that users have posted to third parties. This means that maybe one day you might see that photo of your dog driving a toy car on TV advertising the said toy.

Dog Driving

A Dog driving a Toy Car

Great, you get famous. Not so great, you don’t get paid for it.

Yes our friends at Instagram have the right to sell the photo and keep the money. They may also “share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organisations that help us provide the service to you… (and) third-party advertising partners.”

They are not doing it for the money of course, but to “help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

They just want to make your user experience more fun. “This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used,” it said in a statement.

If you don’t want to give them the right to do this you have a choice of course. You can withdraw all your pictures and delete your account by 16th January and never use them again.

I have written various articles about Facebook and their fluid privacy policies, you can find one here.

One of the most incredible things to me is reading the comments that these articles have provoked. Some people do not care about privacy, it seems to be a thing that only we oldies ever think about. This is a massive change in culture and opens a myriad of possibilities for exploitation in many forms.

Many of my friends use Facebook, probably all of them, but I am the odd one out. I do not use Facebook. A choice that has consequences, I could not register for Spotify the other week, they want your information. But I don’t want to share mine! And recently I applied for a job as a journalist but they wanted a breakdown of my social networking, so if you don’t do social networking you must not be a very good writer.

So make sure that your Instagram friends know what is happening so they can make an informed decision, think about what you post and where you post it, and remember, nothing comes for free, not even social networking.

15 thoughts on “Instagram (AKA Facebook) in the News

  1. I hope this doesn’t stick cause I really like instagram but having my images sold and nothing given to me seems a bit outrageous. I think it will lose it’s market value if this is kept.

  2. Instagram did come up with a blog post defending this and promised to word the changes better so people will better understand them. Ultimately it’s a trade off. To sustain any service you need to make money and to offer Instagram for free for all those people they need to make money. I think it’s very similar to what happens when we use Google services like analytic, search etc.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      (If you took them) yes, however is there not the huge issue if Instagram selling them that it is a huge breach of your privacy? If advertisers know what you post pictures of, they can then use that to analyse you and try and make more money off you?

      Thanks for adding your view and becoming part of the community Jeanne πŸ™‚
      Christopher – Admin Team

  3. Christopher (admin team)

    They are not doing it for the money of course, but to “help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions…” – few, you got me worried for a moment there, I thought they were just doing it to make money via selling pictures to their advertisers to make more money off ads… oh wait…

    They just want to make your user experience more fun. β€œThis means we can do things like fight spam more effectively…” ayh? What like removing people who post lots of pictures like this? I have never been a fan of (often highly processed ‘mechanically recovered’) spiced meat, but I don’t see a need to fight!

    Oh come on, its Christmas πŸ˜‰

    I agree, among many young people, there is a dangerously low level of interest in privacy and caution. Many people tell Mr Zuckerberg their entire life (via Facebook) which he can then use to make more money – it is a plc after all.

    A big worry though, is the parent of Instagram (AKA Facebook) next? Then there might be uproar… one can hope.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      By the way I forgot to mention, thanks for offering to cover this story. There are so many worthy stories out there that we could give our own spin to, like this one, but I just don’t personally have the time.

      Hence the idea of a community blog – if we work together, we can build a really strong core writer base with a large peripheral of community of readers/contributors/commenters. We are getting there, slowly…

      For your interest, last week (16 Dec 12 – 22 Dec 12) was our best ever week so far: we had nearly 5,000 pageviews from close to 3,500 unique visitors. That’s more last week than in the whole of September last year!

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