Another corporation ruins a social service by screwing its users

Instagram backlash is Flickr’s gain
[Via The Verge – All Posts]

Popular photo sharing service Instagram is facing a user backlash after the company revealed new terms of service this week. The fine print, that takes effect on January 16th, is the first big policy change to Instagram since Facebook acquired the service earlier this year. The new ToS grants Instagram the right to license all public photos to companies or organizations, as well as use them for advertising. CNET suggests that this could effectively turn the site into a stock photo service without the benefit of fees paid to photographers.

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Instagram’s policy change is more than likely a move to protect against future issues with the company using photos in promotional collages rather…


We’ve seen this again and again. A social community helps create a new online space using their user-created content. There is reciprocity – people get the benefit of the social media and the creators get a community.

Then the corporation buying that space screws over the users by using the social media created for its own purposes. No more recpirpocity – the corporation makes money but none gets transferred to the people who provide the content. They are left to hang.

Now, a hotel can license pictures from Instagram taken by guests at its hotel, without notifying those people that their likenesses are being used in ads. In fact, those guests do not even have to be the ones who took the picture. Some other guest could have taken a picture with you init that will be used for an ad. Instagram gets paid, the hotels get ads and the users get nothing.

And, of course, professionals get screwed. How wonderful for the corporation to get access to free pictures without having to pay anything for that.

As the poker saying goes, there is always a chump at the table. If you don’t know who the chump is, you are.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


3 thoughts on “Another corporation ruins a social service by screwing its users

    1. The agreement deals with Instagram and who they decide the license the photos to. So I guess they could license the pictures. But usually I beleive you can set the privacy settings so no one can normally just see the pictures, as opposed to Flickr where you can see photos easily. But Flickr does not take your content for itself and allows you to control how the photos are used.

  1. Flickr allows you to make photos private, public, or only available to those marked Family and/or Friends. It also has an easy-to-use Creative Commons license markup. I’ve been a Flickr Pro user for several years, and because I am paying for the service, I am not the product ;)

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