What do you think of Instagram now

Yesterday Instagram wrote an article to their users on their blog regarding the frenzy that happened earlier this week due to their announcement of changes that are to occur to Intagram’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy come early January.

Instantly the Internet reacted negatively to their proposed changes as the jargon used did insinuate that Instagram images posted by its users were going to be sold to advertisers, this was in the TOS section of the legal document. Although, elsewhere, such as their privacy policy suggested that this was not going to happen and that you were still the owner of your images. Now, they are recanting their original message due to the “confusion”, or perhaps the huge amount of deleted accounts they began seeing.

I have always been on the business side of social networks regarding them providing a free service in return for them to take data that we allow. I am not much of a “privacy” is needed person when it comes to the Internet, in fact, I don’t think it exists and the more social we get, which is what we want, the less privacy we will be able to keep without losing the free sites we have come to enjoy.

With that said, as long as the sites are forthcoming with their intentions I am usually okay with their changes, however, although Instagram states that they do not intend to sell our images, their legal jargon did allude to that.

Now they have told its users that they are listening and do intend to change the wording within the TOS so it is less confusing since they did not mean to imply that they were going to steal images from its users.  Instead, they were trying to relay a possibility much like their owners, Facebook, to give profiles and businesses a way to promote their account or images, which sounds much like Facebook’s promoted posts, but instead it would be for users to promote their images to amplify their reach and have the ability to gain more followers.

Boy that sounds a lot different now doesn’t it?

Perhaps the blame is on us, maybe the majority of us were confused, or were we? It would have been a lot simpler if they had ensured that we had an option that it was to help us in return help them remain a business.

I understand that other social sites use our data towards advertisers and as many fought in the past to have options, this is just another lesson for social sites, start-ups or any other site that is a user based business to understand that in order for them to remain a business they need their “product”, the people. That means using careful, thought out wording and deciding on how to make money without damaging the relationship with users must be a top priority for your social site, especially when issuing any changes to the Terms of Service or Privacy Policy. If not, sell something in a box, boxes don’t talk.

Although I personally did not delete my account, I know of many who have and who were surprised by the “confused wording” that Instagram provided. Although I believe privacy and the Internet oppose each other, I do believe that we had a right to worry, to question and even if all of us were “confused”, it is better to live in a world where we still express our thoughts and opinions then let anything else take us over, that is not silly, that is smart and we showed Instagram, as we have with other social sites, what Social Media truly is, it is the united voice of the people.

That will never be wrong.

[Feedback image via inspiredwednesdays]

Written by Erin Ryan
+Erin Ryan is a writer for various Social Media & Tech blogs and currently works as the Director of Social Media for the Internet Marketing Company, Wikimotive. Erin has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date. Creator and head editor of Socialeyezer She enjoys finding the latest in social media, tech and geek culture. Erin often expresses her thoughts and opinions on TheErinRyan. Connect through Erin Ryan's About.me Profile