I’d buy that for a dollar: 6 Juxters share their thoughts about IG’s new TOS by Andre Hermann

“We don’t own your photos—you do.” Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram mentioned earlier this month as he tried to quell the firestorm that erupted after the release of Instagram’s new terms of service (TOS.) Was it really their intentions to own our photos, or were they after something much more valuable? We. Us. You. Him. Her. Essentially, our identities, and the prized, highly valuable user data that comes along with it, which could very well including access to, and, usage of our images.

In the world of social media where our hunger for apps and photo sharing is ravenous, an old comical TV ad in which a mustached gentleman wearing bottle-capped specs in the 1987 movie, Robocop says excitedly, “I’d buy that for a dollar,” echoes in my head. Instagram (IG) now owned by Facebook (FB) has no intention of paying us anything for access to our prized personal data, or our images. The irony is that IG is relying on the sale of personal information to advertisers to turn a profit. The future of this dynamic community is dependent on it.

Sitting on what could possibly be considered the world’s largest stock photo collection, IG initiated a new term of service (TOS). The new terms spelled out in blurry detail quickly spread like wild fire, shocking the world of professional photography and hobbyists everywhere into a crazed frenzy. Given a deadline of January 19, 2013 to make a decision to leave, or stay and accept the new TOS facing a world of future uncertainty, many people quickly jumped ship into the first available life raft in hopes of a safer alternative. Within days the web was flooded with tweets and posts of people quickly downloading their feeds, moving to other services. While others held on, hoping for a solution that would restore the sinking ship to its current state.

As an IG power-user, and professional photographer who has embraced, and, invested so much time into this amazing community, I was truly shocked to read the details of the TOS. Frustrated, I joined the empty black frame protest that spread quickly across the IG community including some notable members such as National Geographic. I patiently waited to see what the outcome would be. Such a protest, and loss of members, a number that IG would never publicly declare, yet admitted was far less than they thought, did not go unnoticed. Announced in a public apology posted to the IG blog, Kevin Systrom announced that IG would revert back to its original 2010 TOS, including a few mandatory additions, which some deemed more blurry and open-ended to users than the new TOS. More frightening was the inclusion of their arbitration clause, which reuters.com pointed out, “the new terms still contain a mandatory arbitration clause, which is not included in terms of service for other leading social media companies like Twitter, Google, Youtube or even Facebook itself. That immunizes Instagram from many forms of liability, according to legal experts.”

Did this minor damage control symbolize that the sinking ship was fixed, ready to sail forward again? Now tarnished, could the once quirky, photo community that we had all come to love recover? Could IG, under the umbrella of FB be trusted in the future?  Like many of you reading this I had many questions and concerns. What could I believe? What would this mean for my archive of IG images online, my network of followers that I’ve spent so much time sharing daily posts with? What did this mean to me personally, professionally, and legally? Is IG really a ship that sailed? If so, what are my alternatives? If I decide to stay are my images safe? What will it cost me to use the service? What about my privacy, and the potential consequences of posting under the new TOS?

So, for my first blog post since becoming a part of the wearejuxt family, I decided what better way to get started than to write about this copyright issue that deeply affects us all. We juxters thought it would be interesting to collaborate and address these questions and concerns. I asked 5 different Juxters to answer all of the same questions allowing them to share their opinion regarding the new TOS, giving you 5 very different, yet similar perspectives on the issue. So lets start.

1. Please briefly introduce yourself: name, where do you live, how long have you been shooting, and describe your main style or genre of mobile phone photography, i.e. fashion, street, decim8r, food, fine art?

BP: Seattle, shooting with iPhone since 2009… like many I started shooting anything and everything then HDRing the crap out of it…then found street and people and really getting comfortable with it… most notably when I started covering Occupy Seattle… that was when it started to make sense to me… still got a long way to go but feeling comfortable is my first step…

JPB: My name is Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt on IG and other platforms) and I’m a Los Angeles-based travel photographer. While most of my IG stuff is related to my “brand” my Instagram feed also contains lifestyle stuff. I’ve been shooting for over 20 years, but on Instagram since November 2010.

NC: Nicholas Carron: Columbus, Ohio, USA : I started sharing my mobile photography in March 2011 when I launched http://urbancurse.tumblr.com/ : Photojournalism, Storytelling, Artistic Compositions

RG: Richard Gray, @rugfoot on IG, flickr and Twitter. Shooting 20 years or so, 3 with the iPhone and 1 year professionally with a big camera. I’m a bit of a dabbler with styles and subjects, which I guess goes with my thing as a teacher. I’ve been running an introductory course in iPhoneography the last year in London and am planning an advanced course for this year. I write too: iphoggy.com.

RC: Ryan Coleman, Houston, TX.  I’ve been shooting since I first downloaded Instagram 2 years ago.  My style is always incredibly varied.  However, I always seem drawn towards the type of photography that would have me working for a tourism board for whatever city I’m living in at the time.  I thoroughly enjoy being a tourist in my own city.  My only catch is that I can’t seem to stay away from black & white photography.

2. Upon learning of IG’s new terms of service (TOS) what were your initial thoughts? How’d you react? Did you cancel your IG account immediately? Put it on hold? Did you migrate to another community? If so which one and why? How have your followers responded to your decisions?

BP: actually I was stunned by the information i was more taken aback by the tone…it felt very disrespectful despite the fact that the platforms success is based on its “loyal” and “active” community…couple that with the lack of adequate and quick response to the already building issues; spam, cyber-bullying, facebook-esque approach etc. etc., this was the ‘straw that broke” it…did I delete…nah but I needed a break to be honest…I needed something new or at least something to make it feel new again…I’ve always been on the other platforms, but I definitely looked deeper into those platforms and assessed what I need to feel good again…followers were supportive for the most part…I think some thought it was an over-reaction from folks as a whole…but I think this time I had to say something even if it was just a I’m taking a break post…

JPB: I wasn’t really surprised by the new TOS announcement– no one builds an app with the intention of NOT selling for a billion dollars, and no one who sells their app/social media platform for a billion dollars can go un-monetized forever. I will applaud IG on giving a long heads up before the proposed changes in the TOS go into effect—that seemed much clearer than how FB does it.  I haven’t killed my IG account and I hope not too. I’ve always been on EyeEm and I’ve seen a huge surge in followers there (my follower count there is now thousands more than it was on IG), but it’s time to seriously consider how to go forward with IG. The few, watermarked or otherwise frivolous images I’ve posted have gotten much less interaction since the Instageddon fallout has started, but it’s also the holidays… a perfect time for a little IG vacation in my opinion. I’m posting less, being more selective about what I post, and waiting for the new TOS to change five more times before going into effect. I want to see what model they come up with before I leave IG. But they certainly let the world know they aren’t the only game in town. EyeEm and the New Flickr seem to be handling refugee influx quite gracefully.

NC: My initial reaction to Instagram’s new Terms of Service (ToS) was more curiosity than anger, confusion, or complacency. My engagement in social media, especially in regards to Instagram, has always been guided by fascination, experimentation, and a sense of adventure. My perspective may come from being engrained in the interactive design and strategy field that regularly exposes me to a digital communications world that is fluid, lacks standards, and literally presents me with new challenges on a daily basis. Since Instagram announced it’s Terms of Service change, I have not closed either of my Instagram accounts (@urbancurse and @njcarron). I’d like to see how any repercussions will play out and, although my activity may lessen, I still see value in maintaining a presence on Instagram.

RG: Like everyone, I’d been expecting something after the Facebook takeover. My initial reaction was to stop using Instagram. A few months ago I started sending my iPhone images to an agency and amazingly they’ve managed to sell a few. So I would get into trouble if any of the images I had sold ended up on any form of ad. It’s a small likelihood but still. I’ve kept my account open but I have revived my interest in flickr, especially after the launch of their new mobile app, which I like a lot because: 1) Full-res uploads so it effectively works as a back-up service.

2) It connects the mobile world with the big-camera world.

3) It’s a serious place for photography with less emphasis on likes and follower numbers.

4) It’s a pretty cool app with some more advanced features than IG.

5) They have user-friendly TOS with no risk of your photos being used in ads.

6) I like the old-fashioned business model: you pay a fee, you get a service. I should say that I helped flickr with their app’s launch in London, though I’m not getting paid by them now, so I’m independent.

RC: My initial thought was, “Really?”  I was taken aback to be honest.  I thought it was incredibly selfish to think that it was ok to sell users photos and give them not a single penny.  I’ve been disenchanted with IG for quite awhile now, this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I didn’t know exactly if I was going to delete the account or not.  But after a couple days of mulling it over, I decided to just delete all of the pictures that I’ve uploaded.  Not that I felt that my pictures were SO good, I just felt that deleting the pictures was me standing up for my principles and values.  Their actions and decisions were made clear, and Instagram would no longer be what it once was.  After deleting all of the pictures most of my followers seemed to understand, however, there were many that were upset.  I watched as I lost over 200 followers in just two days.  Some being followers I had had for quite some time.  I was a little shocked being that I told them that once the dust settled from the TOS nightmare I would begin posting again.  I will post again, I just will probably begin posting pictures about my life, not my photography.  Flickr has become my new home for photography.  I’ve had the account for quite some time, and now that they’ve introduced their new app, I think it makes for a wonderful transition.

3. What was the most important issue for you in regards to IGs new TOS? Or any social media site’s TOS as it relates to photography? Privacy? Freedom? Copyrights and usage?

BP: I think all of it is intertwined… so I’m talking to one of my friends about it… he says the new TOS is the same thing except they weren’t scared to tell you what they want to do… he had a friend find out a photo he posted had already been given/sold to a company… and the only way he found out was by purchasing the item and then finding it on the item… then he looked and found that it was the photo he put on IG… the funny thing is he was flattered about it and didn’t mind it at all… I think that’s fine for a lot of folks… the general mass actually… but I also think there are those who are really trying to hone their craft and for those folks… the co-opting or even the stealing of the imagery is just uncalled for… on the networks that I am on now, I’ve read their TOS’s and I’ve decided the photos that I am more attached to, I’ll be a LOT more careful in where I put them… while the shit I put on IG or other platforms that are similar for their TOS’s I’ll be a lot less caring…

JPB: For me, it’s all about copyright and usage. I consult with travel brands on social media issues and I also generate a lot of content for them. If someone is going to use my stuff, I need to know, sign off on it, and be compensated for my work or decide to give it away.

NC: The most important issue for me regarding a social media platform’s Terms of Service or Privacy Policy is assessing how flexible and clear the details are written. Some entities present their information very abstract and others very clear. Regardless, I understand that Terms of Service and Privacy Policies are always subject to change, and there is an inherent risk that content I post on the web and social media platforms could be re-purposed by any party without my knowledge or consent. Thanks to the efforts of Jen Pollack Bianco, whom informed me in October that one of my Instagram photos was on the August 27th cover of Time Magazine’s Wireless Issue, I have first hand experience knowing how the content I share can be accessed and used without me having any knowledge.

RG: The risk of my syndicated photos turning up in ads. Also, the very pointed statement that IG would make money from our photos and not pay us anything was a bit irksome. It was basically Instagram saying they want to squeeze as much money out of our photos and our data as possible.

RC: The issue was their selfishness and true colors.  IG was simply becoming a money hungry animal that I wanted nothing to do with.  My work is only mine to sell.

4. After a community backlash IG rescinded their new terms of service to their original 2010 form, with exception to a few new updates to the TOS that were buried in a link for everyone to carefully read through on the IG blog. Did you read the new update to the reinstated 2010 version? What are your thoughts? Was it clear and easily acceptable for you? After reading them did you feel you could forgive and trust IG, continue participating in the community?

BP: Still the same to me.  Just going to go as planned and post but more weary about what I post.  I’ll definitely treat it more as a social network now as opposed to a creative community.

JPB: I read them and they are not all that clear. I also suspect they’ll change several more times before going into effect. I’m once bitten twice shy– I know they need to monetize, and I’ll participate in a limited way until they finalize.

NC: I read both the initial and rescinded versions of the Instagram Terms of Service and I believe the first announcement was quite clear. Since Facebook acquired Instagram earlier in the year, leadership intentionally began to set a path that would make the product profitable. Just as Instagram blazed a trail for social media enthusiasts to connect by sharing photography, it’s since had to take the success of the photo-sharing model and pursue uncharted territory to make money.

RG: It was a bit like finding your partner in a bar with someone else with all the signs they were about to cheat on you, but when confronted they changed their mind. They didn’t actually go through with it, but you’ve discovered something about them that you didn’t know before. Yes, I’ve been trying to read the new TOS coming in on Jan 19. There’s a link to the “previous” terms but I’m not sure if these are the 2010 terms. But my general view is that, yes, they now seem to be fairly similar to before. Which isn’t to say that they are particularly good. For example, they still allow ads to be placed on your photos. This was the case with the previous TOS, but it is only now that I am aware of this after the recent furor. I feel a lot less trust for IG now despite the TOS reversion.

RC: I read the update, but the damage was already done.  As far as I’m concerned now, IG will once again bring that selfishness back to the table.  That was their intention to how they figured they could make the most amount of money, and I doubt they’re going to forget that anytime soon.

5. With the initial news of IGs controversial new TOS feeds were still alive with activity from within the community. Do you think the new TOS made any difference to the average user? Or just to pros and semi-pros who feel they have something to lose?

BP: I think to the casual user/ average user the TOS didn’t really bother them.  I think the culture of FB and other social platforms has conditioned folks to not really care.  I think that it has opened folks to reading into it more and it was great to see a lot of users protest… but really… once the rescind came out, it became all good again… I know that I’ve seen a lot more posts from folks who are saying “whew, thanks IG” type stuff… its funny because the rescind was more of “what had happened was” response… but really… if it quacks like a duck, then its probably a duck!

JPB: For the average user: probably little to no change. But for someone like me, who is building a personal brand that includes a strong visual/photography component, I need to protect my work and my clients. But we all have something to lose if IG loses steam. Some of my favorite IG interactions are with people who I have little in common with– I really enjoy following a 19 year old Hooters waitress in Kentucky and the UN Photo Council. I’m not sure those members of my instagram fam will find me on EyeEm or flickr, and I get something out of those relationships.

NC: I don’t think the Instagram Terms of Service will affect engagement of the average user. Throughout my experience on the platform, I frequently remind myself that Instagram’s large user base replicates society as a whole. The extrovert popular crowd wants attention while the creative demographic is fulfilled by collaboration and critique. Many people want to journal their lives in real time while others contemplate and share deeper initiatives. Business professionals want to use Instagram to market a product while proven artists want to promote their unique skill set. Instagram is so vast, however it is my impression that leadership has identified an “average user” to best fulfill their goals.

RG: Yes, I don’t think it made much difference to 95% of users. But the other 5% were very vocal and they could have done a lot of damage to the brand.

The average user posts pictures of themselves in the bathroom mirror with the always amazing, “duckface.”  Do I think they cared?  Probably not.  The actual photographers, or wannabe photographers like myself all probably felt they had something to lose.

6. With millions of people actively using IG who do you think would be the most affected by the new TOS? Do users really have to worry about their likeness, photos, and info being used, ever? Or are the power users who have substantial followers, views, or with a recognizable brand be the only group to worry?

BP: I think it’s a mixture of both.  To be in the shadows is good for them also not just those who are in the spotlight.  For folks in the shadows, they probably won’t find out (story of my friends buddy finding his photo on a product without his consent) and also if they did the response would still be “oh cool, thanks for the 15 minutes” While for those who are “influential” I think it does the same ego-stroke and may not be in monetary value but the return would be increase audience and opportunities etc. etc….who knows… I’m not in the business of that type of stuff…if you ask me personally, I’d say that my privacy, my work, my content… that’s my stuff…but I’ve always been this way…and so now I’m more sensitive to it…

JPB: This remains to be seen. Obviously power users have more to lose because they don’t own their followers (IG does). But until we see what this new advertising model actually is, we won’t know. Also, at this point it’s obvious that there is more than one photo-sharing platform out there. For me-and-my-personal “brand” it’s going to make more effort to go find them wherever they might be.

NC: I think all users should understand that their content could be used no matter their likeness or subject matter. It seems likely that the demographic who uses Instagram to post their fashionable attire or culinary choices would be the most affected.

RG: My case is quite unusual, but the super users trying to monetize their followings would also have been negatively affected indirectly since many of the brands would now see IG as a less attractive platform. They might also have been the main targets if IG wanted to associate profiles with ads. Potentially under the revised TOS, IG can still put ads on their photos, but I can’t see that happening.

RC: I think it’s plain as day who should be worried.  Yes, those “power users” should definitely be worried.  They became popular for a reason – people like their pictures.  Plain-and-simple.  Even if Instagram doesn’t “like” certain power users photos, they’ll want to use and sell them because the masses seem to think that they’re awesome.  That’s what every business decision is based off of, “Will the people of the world like this and want to buy this?”

7. With the 2010 TOS reinstated with a few minor updates what should we expect from IG? Some people are saying that this reversion to the previous TOS is a loss for users because they are so broad? What do you think is it a loss? Are you still hesitant? What are your plans come January 19 when the planned change goes live?

BP: Yes a loss. Will I be back? We’ll see. Hesitant yes.  I think they need to revisit the TOS (and all other platforms that deal with creatives) need to review and actually engage their user base for help in what makes sense.  I don’t think anyone is saying IG don’t make money, we just want to make sure that in doing so, we aren’t and or work isn’t the pawns in lining your pockets.

JPB: My first reaction is to call them “flip floppers” but I suspect I am not alone in knowing I will decide on or before January 18th. I plan on investigating all other options before then and seeing how many new followers on other platforms—like EyeEm—actually use it. I’m in an “observe and report” phase. But I also need to figure out what works best for my brand. I suspect I’ll remain on IG in some form, although I might be posting less and more selective about what I post.

NC: I think Instagram will continue to pursue ways to make the platform profitable, whether this means solely through advertising revenue or not remains to be seen. This is something that I have come to accept and would argue has been on the table well before the Facebook acquisition, as indicated in the September 2011 Adweek article, “Instagram CEO Talks Advertising and Growth”.

RG: It looks like a PR disaster for IG. They’ve made no commercial progress with their TOS, yet their brand suffered hugely in the media and they have made a lot of users look elsewhere and become very suspicious. I’ll probably keep my IG account going, though I don’t have the time to run multiple accounts and if the flickr one goes well, I’ll probably switch permanently.

RC: My plans have already been set in concrete.  I deleted everything, there’s no going back now.  I think people should be very hesitant.  Like I said, they made their intentions clear.  The future as they’re stating is broad.  I don’t like anything in a gray area.  As of now, Flickr is the only site that is very clear about their Terms of Service.  They will never sell your photos under any condition.  If someone wants to buy your photo, they have to go through you, the user.

8. What are your thoughts regarding a pay model that reimburses photographers for usage on per-click or per-view model? Is it possible? Should the advertising wealth be shared with the content creators?

BP: Hmm. Lots of work to do that and those incurred costs wouldn’t benefit photographers but swing the scale back to IG.  I think IG needs to figure out a model that is democratic with its user base.  I think they should look at Flickr.

JPB: If I could pay to use the service and opt out of the advertising model—like I for the Shazam Pro, I’d do it. I live in L.A. and this is an entertainment industry towns built on residual checks. Yes, if IG is going to act as an agent of sorts, they should get an agent’s fee of 10% but it’s always the talent that gets to decide whether or not they take the gig.

NC : See 9

RG: I can’t see that being viable on IG.

RC: I don’t see it happening.  From a business point of view, how would this make sense?  They would stand to lose money, not make it.  Even if they did profit, how much would it even be?  If I were on the board and cared about my pocketbook like they do, I would be dead set against it.

9. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding FB’s need to generate income to offset IG’s hefty price tag. One thought was charging for what has otherwise been a free service. Would this be successful? Would you continue to use IG if you had to pay for the app or have to pay to access different tiers of viewability, or interaction? Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography at the NY Times Magazine was quoted as saying, “I would pay $100 a year for the app.” Is this reasonable for the average user? Would you pay this much to you use the service?

BP: I think it is a model that they should look at.  The user can determine their level and these “freemium” models can work.  Is it the best way? Who’s to say.  Would I pay for it…yes, I pay for camera apps and other types of apps all the time…why wouldn’t I pay for an app that I use or have used daily? Especially if then by me paying it holds IG accountable to not only FB or advertisers…but to me as a paying customer…

JPB: Would I pay for a version of the service that would let me opt-out my feed from their potential advertising scheme, sure.  My issue isn’t so much would I pay for it, but would my audience?  At the end of the day, the audience for my personal brand is potential luxury travelers– my work needs to reach them. Even if I paid for the service, would they?

NC: I would be inclined to pay to use an app like Instagram, and I can see a subscription-based model being successful. $100 a year seems high and would probably result in a very niche user base that has input in the direction of the product.

RG: No, it’s too late to charge fees on IG. The shock would be too much for most users. Ironically the 5% serious users might be the only ones prepared to pay. The 95% of casual users would immediately stop. Flickr are in the great position of having already established charges.

RC: I think people would.  Many users like myself have allowed IG to become and big part of their daily lives.  I still wonder how my transition away from IG is going to feel a month from now, or even 6 months for that matter.  I have lived and breathed iphoneography for the last two years. It’ll be hard for me to transition away from it and take on the next stage of my photography.  I probably would pay some amount of money to use the app.  How much?  Not sure.  $100 a year does seem a bit steep.  But I could probably get on board with something like that.  More so because I think that introducing a membership fee would get rid of a lot of the users that see the app as a Twitter with pictures.  Guess what?  I don’t care that you’re sitting on the porch right now, I don’t care about the slutty dress you’re wearing to the club tonight, and I certainly don’t care about your need to be on the “Explore” page so that you can get all of those lovely ghost followers.  Hey…  “Follow for a follow?”  😉

10. Do you feel that agreeing to these new terms of service, and FB’s ideas of integrating in-feed marketing into the IG experience will have a direct affect on how we interact in the community? Who we follow? what images we comment on? In the end will IG continue to be about photography and the art, or just another annoyance cluttered by marketing noise?

BP: I don’t think so… I think it clutters everything up just like FB and like FB for someone like me… I just quit using it… the reason why IG is successful is because its simple user interface, ability to social, its relatively quick speed… you bog that down more than it already has been and you will lose folks to it… especially the folks who look at it more for creative community as opposed to the social network side of things…

JPB: I think that IG was never really about photography, photographers just found a way to use this micro-blogging platform that used images to their own benefit and to promote themselves and their brands. Photographers go on endlessly about the crappy resolution and mandatory square format of IG. But as a mobile experience, and as a social media platform, The IG experience is far more palatable than the never-ending clutter of FB. My IG profile page looks way more appealing my Facebook Page, and I think that shift in the social media landscape towards the visual in many ways makes IG way more valuable than FB. I know that when the IG Profile pages started appearing and I found out how much better my profile looked if I committed to one aspect ratio, I started playing to that and thought the tail had started wagging the dog.

NC: Despite the recent Terms of Service announcement, it became apparent to me that the Instagram experience was becoming less and less favorable. The impact of the Facebook acquisition may have certainly played a key role in it’s slide, but a saturated user base, the inundation of spam, ghost followers, and lack of innovation have been prevalent issues for quite some time.

RG: I think it will be impossible to integrate ads to feeds. For one, the screen is too small. Second, those people who’s feeds were used would immediately be unfollowed by a lot of people and they would be very unhappy and would probably consider leaving. I think part of the reason IG misjudged people’s reaction to their change in TOS was because they didn’t realize that many users take pride in their photos. And this is because IG has never really been about photography. Listening to many interviews with their owners, their idea has always been about sharing experiences (e.g. Look! I’m at a baseball match), not about exploring photography.

RC: It’s just becoming myspace.  Can’t we all agree at this point?  Facebook is heading down that path, so of course, IG will too.  Let’s just sit back and look at the obvious.  Remember when myspace was the end-all, be-all?  And now it’s just this “thing” that nobody wants to talk about?  Myspace was amazing at one point, just like Instagram was.  It’s obvious where it’s going, so it should be obvious where all the users will go.

11. Do you have any other thoughts on this? Do you have any tips or suggestion for people who are unsure of how to move forward?

BP: I say the user has to read and they can decide… if they read it through and research it… and it speaks to them in one or another then they can make an informed decision… if they go into it blindly on either side then truthfully, they’ve made a decision that they can’t complain about… it’s like what I tell my kid… if you don’t know why you do something and you do it… then your the dummy…

NC: I will continue to assess how involved I want to be on Instagram as the platform and community evolves. It’s important to consider the repercussions of sharing content on Instagram under the new Terms of Service, but it’s also necessary to evaluate the value of investing time and creative energy in the platform.

RG: I thought IG handled the whole thing atrociously. I feel they tried to mislead their users on various points:

1) They kept on denying they would sell their users’ photos as a smoke screen to hide their real intentions, which is to sell their usage. Of course, IG could not “sell” photos (i.e. transfer their ownership) because they don’t own them. But they CAN sell their usage, or, in other words, rent them.

2) I felt that the emphasis on SPAM as a reason for the change was pure pretence and another smoke screen to hide their real intentions.

3) Looking back at the introduction of the geo feature, we see now that it formed a big part of this change in TOS and was basically a way of making photos more commercially viable.

4) in retrospect, the whole IG project now looks like a huge con. IG deliberately got millions of people hooked on a “free” service simply in order to sell the use of their photos and their user information. It feels like they’ve been dishonest with their users.

5) IG’s blogs, their main form of communicating with their users, seem very insincere. The almost exclusive use of this medium itself makes them seem distant and arrogant. It would almost be better if they took FB’s approach and simply didn’t pretend to engage with their users.

RC: I do.  I wrote about my entire thought process in a previous blog entitled The Break Up on Juxt just a few days ago.  I think my advice, my thoughts, and emotions were captured a bit better when the wound was still fresh.  Feel free to read that to get a better understanding on how I feel on the matter.



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