You’d think that we, as a society, would be less than shocked that a social network intends to sell the content we produce to the highest bidder. After all, it’s only happened, uh, constantly. Nonetheless, Instagram’s Terms of Service have dropped and its users are less than happy.
You may have heard it called “Instagram’s suicide note” and heard from a lot of people about how the service is like totally ruined and they will never post anything to it again. The key point of consternation is this passage:
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. …You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.
Roughly translated, “If we want to sell your stuff, we’re going to, and we’re not going to tell you about it.” Oh, and did we mention that teenagers can be used in this manner, as well? The TOS has implied consent as part of the terms. That’ll end well!
Now, anybody who realizes that Facebook owns Instagram, and that Facebook is a company that just put a bullet in their sham of a user democracy, saw this one coming. This is a bit like complaining that some dictator lied about free and fair elections being held. Gee, really?
This is part of the inevitable cycle of popular networks: The network does something awful, a minority of users complain about it, and all of them keep using the service anyway. Besides, those with longer memories might also recall that Facebook tried similar measures, and those ultimately wound up backfiring.
Besides, if this does thin the herd, that might be a useful thing. If we see another incredibly unappetizing photo of spaghetti, we’ll barf. And then apply a bunch of filters to it, and post it to Instagram.
In the meantime, if you’re serious about bailing on Instagram, a handy guide on how to download your photos and delete your account can be found here.
(Bottom photo via Wired)