Are Instagram and Facebook Crazy? They want to sell your photos!

The BBC is reporting that Instagram, recently bought by Facebook, is altering its privacy policy to allow third-parties, such as FaceBook and advertisers, to access its members’ information and to use their pictures without permission or recompense. Yes, it is being reported that Instagram is going to be selling your photos, without asking you, without paying you, and without an opt-out!

Instagram/Facebook are not proposing to offer an opt-out of this commercialisation of people’s pictures. They have said, reportedly, that people who are not happy must leave instagram by January 16, 2013 – just under a month from now.
CNET has a story titled ‘Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos’ and Wired is offering advice on how to protect yourself with its article ‘How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account’.

If the reports are accurate and if Facebook does not change its mind I would expect Instagram’s, already weak, user base to largely disappear and for Facebook to face a backlash from users and perhaps legislators.

Facebook paid $1Billion for Instagram, it could soon be worth very, very much less than this.

In a recent post on Vision Critical University I showed that double jeopardy applies in the social media world, i.e. sites with fewer users tend to be less loyal. Instagram is a smaller site, smaller than FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn – so I would expect it suffer badly from letting its users down.

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