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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why I am happy that I never used Instagram

Last week, hell broke lose when Instagram updated it's Terms and Conditions and said they will have the perpetual rights to sell user's photos (public ones) without any payment or notification. With this one change, Instagram was poised to become the largest stock photo site in the world, and they were about to achieve it without spending a dime for the photos.

The outcry from users started pouring in the next moment. Social networks and blogs were filled up with rage, and finally, the company came to their senses on Friday. They released the following statement:

'Earlier this week, we introduced a set of updates to our privacy policy and terms of service to help our users better understand our service. In the days since, it became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities – to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right.

The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.

Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010.'

So, for the time being, all is well. But, this attitude of the new generation social networking companies is heinous. Also, I think we should keep in mind that they might have backed down for now, but they don't have to listen to the users always. Also, since it's a free service, the users have little or no say with what the company can or will do. Here's XKCD's version of the events:

I don't use Instagram. I never signed up for the service, and never downloaded the apps. And I am happy for that. Also, to the avid photographers out there, I suggest you go for Flickr. Even Marissa Meyer seems to have switched from Instagram.

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