I’ve been watching all the furore over Instagram’s change of terms and conditions with interest, and as usual, there are two sides to the story, and yet people get all energised and a whole flurry of “OMGs” and “WTFs” erupt in my timeline (be it Twitter or Facebook or even my email account).
Here’s the thing.
We are posting our pictures in public. We have to give Instagram permission to display them, and given that it’s a social tool and connects by API (blah blah, tech junk, etc.) to other services, for proper legal standing those images need to be permitted on other forums.
Sometimes those forums will have ads.
One day Instagram will have ads.
It’s the way these things go. We get all excited about a new service, website, app etc., we all jump on board and get hooked on it.
Then it has to pay for itself.
Realistically the terms and conditions need to align with Facebook (remember? Instagram is owned by Facebook), and frankly, those pix that you put on Facebook are covered with the same terms and conditions, if I read things correctly. Are you careful about your photos on Facebook? Have you jumped ship from Facebook because of THEIR terms and conditions?
No, neither have I. I’ve thought about it, but I find the service too useful to do away with, and frankly I’ve got all sorts of tech malarkey going on in the background to strip ads so I never see them anyway.
I’m the kind of user Facebook hates.
That said, I’m still ditching Instagram, but it’s not about the terms and conditions. It’s because, quite frankly, the app doesn’t, for a second, compare to the flickr one.
I’ve been a flickr user for YEARS and had got out of the habit of posting pix on it, because, if I’m honest, I got out of the habit of taking pictures. I fell out of love with my big old clunky D100 and don’t really love the picture quality of my iPhone 4 so I’ve really only been farting about with occasional cat or lunch picture on Instagram.
Instagram has dumbed me down. Big time. (This isn’t a reflection of any one else on Instagram, it’s just me. Promise.)
In any case. My Instagram pix no longer show up on Twitter, the app interface doesn’t do what I want (seriously, I can’t see your photo stream? I have to keep going back to the thumbnails to see all your pix? Back… forth… back… forth = irritating).
Fortunately Flickr has lifted its game in the biggest way with their iPhone app. I can filter pix, my images aren’t cropped arbitrarily, I can see your photostream, I can post them to Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and I can also do way more editing of my pix, can tag them and can make them publicly available for use on MY terms, given all my pix are out there with Creative Commons Licensing. (Edited to add, and because I [happily] pay annually to use it, ads aren’t an issue, at least not now… hopefully, never!)
The only thing that kept me coming back to Instagram was the validation from all your likes and comments, and if I’m sticking with a substandard product just for your validation?
Well, that’s just silly.
There you have it, I’m quitting Instagram. I’ll miss you, but if we’re friends I’ll see your stuff on Facebook anyway, right?
And if you’re an iPhone user, I challenge you to check out the Flickr app (yes, you’ll need a flickr account) and if you like it you can follow me and maintain my validation levels on my Flickr pix (or, you know on Facebook and Twitter and all those other places I play on the web.)