Wednesday 19 December 2012

INSTAGRAM to roll back image sharing policy

INSTAGRAM to roll back image sharing policy
After causing furore over by stating that the images uploaded and shared by the users can be and will be used to generate revenue through advertising, Facebook owned Instagram today reversed this decision. 

As per news reports published in USA Today,
"Photo-sharing service Instagram will issue an updated privacy policy after stirring uproar among users for potential rules suggesting they could have allowed them to use shared photos in ads"

 As per earlier press release, the images uploaded by users for sharing among their friends and peers, starting January, 16 2013, where to be used by Instagram for some parts of its service, supported by advertisers. 
Their Press release said
"To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you,"
This in simple plain english meant that the personal photos uploaded by users for sharing could be by Instagram for its personal benefits.  This would have been applicable even to users under 18 years of age.
This news has created a huge furore among the Instagram users raising concerns and questions of personal privacy and individual freedom. 
Now in a hastily written blog the Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has said that new policy will come into effect in 30 days roughly around 18th Jan, 2013.  Kevin stated that users had not correctly read the press release  In his words

"Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we'd like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram," says Systrom. "Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing."
Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has been a huge hit with Apple's iOS and Google's Android for its unique USP by allowing users to add variety of retro filters, create imaginative images and then share them with their friend and peers.  It already has 100 million users and over 1 billion photos have been uploaded by its users since its launch.
There have been reports of riots in Sweden over the above issue.  Now it is upto you, the final user to decide what you want.
I will publish a separate blog for alternatives to Instagram; kindly read them here.

Vijay Prabhu

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