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Instagram’s Disagreeable Service Agreement Update   4 comments

I am a huge advocate for Instagram. I think it’s a brilliant concept, on the part of its developers. I know that it has caused a lot of eye-rolling among many professional photographers, but I think it’s fun, okay? I like that relatively poor-quality, often blurry mobile uploads can look a little bit prettier, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. As an Android user, I was thrilled when the app opened to us. I no longer had to watch enviously as my not-even-close-to-artsy Apple friends tweeted and posted all of these artsy-looking pictures, and could join in uploading filtered food photos with the best of them.

I generally try to maintain a less personal, company-encompassing narrative in my TurnKey articles, but the topic that I want to discuss with you today has incited a reaction from me on a personal level, and I feel as though I should discuss it as such. I have an issue with Instagram’s amended Terms of Service.

Basically, Facebook (they own Instagram now, if you weren’t aware) is now asserting their right to sell your photos at absolutely no profit to you whatsoever, and it doesn’t stop there! They also declare a right to employ your image and personal information as they see fit. This is not okay with me at all. I understand that the app is free and Facebook wants to generate revenue and all that good stuff, but there are ways around this. Also—I have to say it—are you really losing that much money over Instagram, Facebook? You invested a billion dollars in a company that you are now this desperate to keep afloat?

Here’s an excerpt:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. 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.”

Improper usage of photographic material is not a new thing at all, and maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive about this due to a background in photography. However, my pictures are mine, and if Facebook wants to use them, they need to ask me first. Regardless, it is not okay—and shouldn’t be okay—for them to use my personal material and information in a way that exploits me.

Usually, I tend to be rather neutral in regards to topics like this. I think they are largely sensationalized by the media, and that people fly into an uproar when it’s not completely necessary. For instance, Dave wrote a really insightful article about the Google vs. EU issue not too long ago, and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with his stance. If you’re interested or need a refresher, you can read the article here.

Anyway, now we’re faced with a choice: do we just divert our gaze and allow them to do this, or do we wash our hands of Instagram? Do we log out of our accounts and set off into the great unknown, desperately seeking to fill the void in our once-filtered mobile existence? That may be a little dramatic, considering Twitter just rolled out replacement filters after the pull on syncing photos, but that’s another article entirely. Luckily, we have until January 16, 2013 to decide which road we want to take, as that is when the new terms go into effect.

Wouldn’t you know it? This all rolls out almost exactly at the same time that I set up TurnKey’s Instagram account, and I almost want to close it to protest! I won’t though, mainly because I’m border-line obsessed with this picture of a lollipop bouquet.

What do you think? Am I over-blowing this? Do you think this is fair and understandable or invasive and downright wrong? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Written by Emily on December 18th, 2012

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4 Responses to 'Instagram’s Disagreeable Service Agreement Update'

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  1. You are spot on, not overblown at all. It IS invasive and horribly wrong. All it takes to lose control of our lives (recorded by most of us digitally) is to do nothing. You have the power to kick Instagram to the curb for your customers. Please do it, and thank you for being vigilent AND for seeking our input.

    Karen Diehl

    28 Dec 12 at December 28th, 2012

  2. Thank you for any other fantastic article. The place else may just anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect means of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such information.

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    13 Jan 13 at January 13th, 2013

  3. You’ve made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  4. […] sites”. We’ve mentioned a few of them on the TurnKey blog before, like in my tirade about Instagram’s policy changes following Facebook’s billion-dollar buy-out, for example. I still think that was so uncool, but […]

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