As we browsed our Twitter feeds today, one topic of discussion stood out, and it involves popular photo-sharing app Instagram. In case you aren’t familiar with Instagram (which frankly seems somewhat impossible these days), it’s the style set’s most beloved iPhone app that has developed into an incredibly popular social network, rivaling even Twitter.
Why People are Upset: Ever since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, there has obviously been a great deal of attention being paid to monetizing the app. Like any indie gem that makes it big, it’s losing a part of what made it so desirable in the first place. Now that it’s in the billion dollar big leagues, it has to turn a profit, and users feel that it’s doing so by exploiting them. Since users’ photos will potentially be “sold,” Instagram is essentially becoming a commercial stock photo library. The problem lies in the fact that those who contribute to commercial photo libraries are compensated, while Instagram users will obviously not be. Simply clicking on the “Instagram” trending topic on Twitter reveals that the majority of people are unanimously against this, with many promising to delete their accounts. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Anderson Cooper, and Andy Cohen are all abandoning the app.
How You Can Avoid the Changes: Unless there’s a serious reconfiguration of the policy, there’s no choice but to stop using the service if you’re uncomfortable with it. Luckily, there are numerous other photo sharing services with similar characteristics. In fact, Twitter has just introduced filters in photos, which is handy as it has stopped displaying Instagram photos in tweets (another issue social media users are still reeling from). Other apps like Snapseed (which was just acquired by Google) and Hipster are making a splash, while alternatives like Hipstamatic (which was actually popular prior to Instagram taking over) are also available.
UPDATE: Instagram just issued a statement clarifying some of the language used. Many are still confused. What do you think about the policy change?