I never really got Instagram. I mean, I got the app, I signed up, and I posted a few photos. But I never totally got what it was for. I mean, social photos? OK, I followed a few people I knew on Twitter, but it never really amounted to much. And you couldn't even see your pictures on the web at first. The filters were interesting, but only up to a point, and they got worse.
But somehow I could never totally see the point. Flickr I understood: it’s a site to store your photos. If you don’t have, or don’t want the bother of managing, your own web space, you can put your pictures there and show them to other people. And it’s got the social thing going on, too, with the ability to follow people and all that. It feels a bit bolted on, but it does no harm. And when I discover a site like 500px, as I did a few weeks ago, well, that’s obvious: a place to store your pictures and to find other people’s. Not for nothing is their tag line, “The best photos on the web” (or it was: today it says, “The world’s best photo sharing”, which is similar, but different). I just wish they’d learn how to keep me signed in.
But Instagram didn’t really grab me. And today they nearly ejected me.
Oddly for a net-based thing, I heard about the new terms of service on the radio. The story was that the terms were going to allow them to sell their users' pictures for advertising, without paying, asking, or even telling the users.
Did I just hear on the radio that Instagram is committing suicide?— Martin McCallion (@devilgate) December 18, 2012
It turns out to be not as bad as we thought, at least according to this post from Instagram. Though I only found that because I clicked the "I'd like to delete my account" link. On the confirmation page there was a link to that post. It turns out there's an Instagram blog, and both the terms of service change and this update were posted there. But who knew about that?
So for now I haven’t deleted my account, and we’ll see how it goes.
I found out about the change from the radio, and the correction by requesting a deletion; my inbox remains unsullied. How about a wee email, Instagram? You’ve got my address.
Edited to add: According to this post, the new terms are actually better than the old ones.