Breaking Up With Instagram and Wondering What’s Next in Social Networking?

by Leila on December 17, 2012

If you are anywhere on the interwebz today you have probably seen the uproar over Instagram’s new terms of service. Yes, it’s not a rumor unlike most of what gets shared. It doesn’t apply until January 15th 2013 and hopefully there will be some changes.

“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.”

Okay, so they have the right to use our images for promotional purposes and give what info we give Instagram to a company that pays them for it. Our images become royalty free to them as soon as we upload them AND we have no say. Even though they don’t own the images they own the right to do what they want with them… because we used their services.

This obviously sucks. However, it’s their service. They could put in their terms that every picture shared on Instagram would be zombie filtered and put in a zombie calendar for profit. While we may not want to be a zombie, all corpsified and gross (kudos if you know that quote!) we can simply opt out to avoid the whole thing.

Now I want to google zombie collage calendars for 2013…

Anyway, I freaking love me some Instagram. I’ve been an obsessive Instagram junkie for over a year. I’ve met some rad people on Instagram and utilized it authentically for networking and social media marketing.

But, it’s time… for me… to move on.

The world of the internet is forever changing. We went from an age where we didn’t tell anyone our real names, location or shared pictures (unless you were in one of those a/s/l chatrooms where… c’mon… no one was being honest then! Um, not that I would know personally… hehehe)

Ahem…

Now we are in an age where everything is out there. It’s an information age where oversharers (like myself) have fun with it. But, the more comfortable we get with this lifestyle the more I wonder what’s next in social networking? How far will this go? And how much damage will be done until the laws catch up with the technology?

Maybe we are reaching the peak in online information overload and it’s time for it to settle the hell down. 

I’m not saying not to share. I’m not saying to ban the internet, because, then what the crap would we all do?? I think we are just simply at a point where we aren’t protected legally the way we should be because the laws haven’t caught up yet. We give too much trust to these platforms because, let’s admit it, the Terms of Service pages are the most boring things to read.

The only reason I caught any of that today was because I was bored at School pick up!

As we share, companies are taking advantage and creepers continue to do creepy things. As we share too much people are getting hurt in the process because their images are being used for advertising without their consent.

At least Instagram is telling us what it intends to do and the warning is in our faces. I respect that but I’m not going to stick around.

I know a lot of people are angry with Instagram and Facebook for these changes. There isn’t much we can do other than voice our concerns and wait. The new TOS won’t be implemented until January so maybe they will change their minds. Maybe they won’t.

Either way I think it’s time we all start actively protecting ourselves, our content and images. We will need to watermark (I’m guilty of not doing this a lot of the time. Honestly, its a time suck AND I am doubtful anyone would make money off of the silly face pictures I take! ha!). We will also need to start really thinking about what we share before we share it.

I don’t put a single thing out there in email, messages, pictures or tweets that I’m not comfortable with the world seeing regardless if it’s private or not. Once it’s out there it’s just out there and I can’t control what happens.

Oh believe me… there are things even I do not put out there. 

My plan is to be more mindful, learn to love watermarking, find a watermarking monkey that will work for banans and wait until the next best (free and fair) thing comes along for us all to run amok on. Until then… see you all on here, twitter, facebook or google… if I remember to actually login to google!

 Edited to add

Just FYI… these policies are not new and unique to just Instagram. Facebook owns Instagram now… here is a blurb from Facebook. 

Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

The difference, from what I can tell, is that Facebook’s terms depend on how your privacy settings work. If you just share with friends then they can use your images to your friends. If you post publicly then it can be public. But, I’m not a lawyer.

The big ole debate as to what these things mean is constantly misunderstood. The safest measure of action will always be to use your best judgment. If you are worried about your images or content being used for advertising purposes then don’t share it… or watermark the hell out of it so it’s less appealing.

The internet is here to stay (and it damn well should be!) we just need to get better at using it! Keep on ninja kicking, my friends.

About Leila DontSpeakWhinese

Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of four awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

GamingAngel December 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I agree with most of this. I’m not sure watermarking will help because people can undo watermarking pretty easily.  I haven’t closed my instagram account yet, but will if they don’t reverse the TOS decision before Jan 15.

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