The Instagram Photo Selling Freakout


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People who use the very popular photo-sharing app called Instagram are upset these days.  First they removed the ability to easily see picture previews in their Twitter feeds.  Many Instagram users wants to share their photos on Facebook, Twitter, Google +Foursquare, Tumblr, etc.  So removing the ability to view their photos on Twitter was a big mistake.  And now Instagram is making its second big mistake.  Instagram updated their terms of service and privacy policies.  And this addition below is freaking people out.

You agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you.

This means any photo you take could be sold to a stock agency, used in an advertisement, or just data mined to create a visual component to your online profile.  So for example, a photo of you eating fast food or drinking a beer could be used as an advertisement.  How would you feel if a photo of you was used in an advertisement in Times Square?  Now to be clear; Instagram isn’t saying it “owns” your photos.  In fact, the terms of service specifically states, “Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post on or through the Service.”  In Instagram’s updated privacy policy , it says:

“Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content that you post on or through the service, except that you can control who can view certain of your content and activities on the service as described in the service’s privacy policy.”

You still own the photos 100% of the time!  By the way you can view the updated privacy policy by clicking the link. http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.

Since Instagram was bought by Facebook they need to make money.  Facebook has to please its shareholders and bring up their stock price.  Sure, one easy way would be to charge its members a few dollars a month but who wants to pay that.  They could also place ads on its website and app but people can install ad blockers like I have done on my computer.  People are freaked out because they don’t want photos of them or their friends appearing on the next commercial on TV or on the internet.  So this is leading many people to save their Instagram photos and delete their accounts.  And I don’t blame them!  Users wants to share their photos on all of their social media networks, especially Facebook and Twitter.

The changes don’t take effect until Jan. 16, 2013, and only affects photos uploaded to the service after that date.  But since I don’t own a smartphone I will probably never use Instagram.  Now I want to tell you what I use to share photos and status updates on my social media accounts.  I use the Buffer App!

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Buffer allows you to share up to 10 status or photo updates to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and App.Net accounts for free!  I would like to see the additions of Tumblr, Foursquare, and Google + as well.  If I had a job I would have upgraded to the awesome plan which allows you to connect up to 12 social media accounts and have unlimited posts to your accounts!  You can use Buffer on your computer or smartphone and its great to use!  This plan only costs $10 a month or $102 a year and I would recommend it!

Buffer also runs many awesome apps to make your work on the computer easy.  I use the Pocket app to save articles I want to read later. (Learn more at: http://getpocket.com) I would urge all of you to start using Buffer and its network of apps.  To learn more about Buffer go to: https://bufferapp.com/.

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