I’m sure most people know what Instagram is and what the whole appeal is to many of it’s users. I wonder though, how many of it’s users know of the new Terms of Service policy that goes into effect January 16th? Would people still post to Instagram knowing what the new policy entails and how it benefits Instagram and it’s parent company, Facebook, but not the user?
To put the new Terms of Service policy simply, it basically states that Instagram and it’s parent company, Facebook, can use your photos however they like and there is nothing you can do about. It also states clearly if you don’t want your photos being used then delete your account. Although this policy says it will not effect photos taken prior to January 16th, I wouldn’t bet on Mark Zuckerberg being honest in what he says.
For everyone that posts pictures of their food or photos of them in the bathroom making duck faces I’m certain your photos are quite safe. For others, like small businesses, who use Instagram as another means to promote their business, the impact of the new policy makes one question their current use of Instagram in their marketing plans and what the future holds for them for using Instagram as a platform to get the word out about their product or business.
As a small business owner myself, JC Ruiz Photography, I use Instagram to post photos I’ve taken to get more people aware of my brand and to hire me for their photography needs. Now will I be willing to share my photos knowing that Instagram and Facebook can use them freely without crediting me or paying me for the use of my photos, absolutely not. To me, the new Terms of Service policy is tantamount to copyright infringement and trademark violations, if your brand/business is trademark and registered.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are no strangers to stomping on one’s rights and privacy, but this is even more of an unbridled attempt to say the user, “We are going to do what we want with your content and their is nothing you can do to stop us.” I believe the greed and ego of Facebook knows no bounds. Given that the Internet is still fairly new and basic rights of users haven’t been fully defined yet, Zuckerberg and Facebook will use any nook or cranny to find leverage to exploit their users and their content to their benefit.
Going forward I will keep my Instgram account open, however; I will be taking down every photo that is not properly watermarked. Instagram and Facebook can have my photos of food I’ve taken etc. I’m not trying to sell those or use them as advertisement for my brand. I will be slapping an obnoxious watermark across all my photos present and future and although I abhor the thought of a watermark across an entire image, I feel it is necessary to protect my work from the greedy hands of Mark Zuckerberg and his underlings.
I’m sure a lot of Instagram users will not even pay attention to what the new Terms of Service spells out or how it will affect them because they’re too busy wondering which eye Chris Brown blackened on Rihanna or taking photos in the bathroom to post to their account. As for others more diligent in protecting their rights and privacy, hopefully they will do what is best for them and their brand/business. This new policy now awakens the hunger for a new program/application that will cater to the scorned Instagram users but alas greed will get a hold of them as well. The cycle of hopping from one new sensation to the next perpetuates itself over and over.