Dec 19, 2012

Users snap over Instagram, but should have seen it coming

The online world was abuzz with Instagram's hardline terms of use changes. But users should know what they're getting themselves in for when using social media platforms.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

A frantic fart of fear frothed forth over changes to fun photo fiddling service Instagram’s terms of use. It shows how little people understand what they’re getting into when they post their photos online. Will it be a wake-up call?

Instagram implemented a simple concept — posting smartphone happy snaps made lass crap with preset effects — and was a runaway success. Facebook bought the company for a billion dollars in April this year, despite it having virtually no revenue.

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12 thoughts on “Users snap over Instagram, but should have seen it coming

  1. Adrian

    ” If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata) on your behalf.”

    So, basically, “If you’re too young to enter this agreement, you agree to the term of this agreement that says that someone else who can enter an agreement agrees that you can enter this agreement”.

    Am I right?

  2. tinman_au

    I think any automated system where they inject ads into photos will lead to some highly amusing outcomes!

    And, when those photos involve children, perhaps some tragic ones 🙁

  3. zut alors

    Yet another example of 21st century Instacrap society. Progress?

  4. Stevo the Working Twistie

    You had me, right up to “Instagram also made it clear that they have no plans to use people’s photos in advertising.” That’s all right then, I’ll provide them that right because they assure me they don’t intend to exercise it. BTW, I’m not an Instagram user, and only share the bare minimum via other social media sites. And this is why.

  5. Kristian

    The core lesson here is that services like Instagram aren’t free. You pay for them by licensing the operator to use your content and other data in various ways. If you don’t like that, well, pay for your goddam internet hosting yourself

    Geez! Sprinkle a little extra smug on your cornflakes this morning?

  6. dale ross

    facebook, instagram, twitter-the US should break up these ghastly entities via anti-trust laws. We taxpayers subsidise these bludgers.

  7. Steve777

    Any product offered for free should be approached with caution. If you’re not paying for a product, that normally means that YOU are the product. Applies to ‘free to air’ TV and to social network sites.

  8. Ronson Dalby

    Got to agree, Kristian. That last sentence ruined the whole article.

  9. TheFamousEccles

    Two things – Firstly, the article was informative (I am not an Instagram user but I follow internet privacy issues), and in some aspects cleared away a few questions I had over this impasse.

    The second is that the author comes over as an utter tool, and in my experience of the “it” crowd (and I have plenty of experience managing IT types, similar to herding kittens but not as enjoyable) he is not unique.

    Sorry mate, but I wont waste my time on your condescension again.

  10. Kaye Uiterwyk

    I think more and more people are discovering that a “free” internet is not necessarily “free”. It’s unfortunate that we use the same word to mean something for nothing, and freedom of expression. People often shift from one meaning to the other… freely. Now, I’ve been hanging around the internet in various forms since about 1990. The dream of a “free” internet was a liberal-minded, vaguely leftish, communal geeky dream. Now the riff-raff is here, the dream is fading fast. ;o) If you pay the bills with money from advertising, things can quickly deteriorate to the point where the advertisers are the customers and your job is to keep them happy. The buzz word in tech is “monetization”. We have all these eyeballs, now how to we cash in. Entities like Google start to look like monopolistic monsters. An internet paid for by advertising starts to resemble the wasteland that is commercial telly in this country. The effects are insidious. If we want an independent and free internet, we might have to start paying.

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