Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instagram Hangs Itself

Instagram's fame as THE
photo-sharing app is in jeopardy.
Instagram released its new terms of service overnight, and the backlash has been swift and sharp.  No one knows yet how this will play out, but many Instagram users are threatening to leave the service.

So what happened?  Their updated terms of service state that "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."  Ouch!

If the debate gets any hotter, there could be government intervention or a law suit, which would hurt the company even more that user abandonment!

Instagram's response, so far, has been to say that this was a move taken to better integrate with its parent company, Facebook, which already does this a little.  I've seen ads that list profile photos and names of my friends as "Likers" of other pages that I should also, apparently, like.

The Marketing Take-away
This is a two-edged sword for marketers, because we LOVE to use customer data for our own purposes, and photos are part of that.  But with the severe infringement on people's personal information and images could cause consumers to lose confidence in companies that use this type of information to sell products or services.

My advice to marketers and companies?  Wait it out and see what happens before making the move to use people's Instagram photos and metadata to marketing anything?

Now tell me: what do YOU think about Instagram's new terms of service?


1 comment:

  1. Instagram the business wasn't worth $1 billion, but Instagram the community arguably was. Goodbye to that.