Instagram's Instapology

Instagram had kind of a bad day this past Tuesday. Upon release of the newest Terms of Use, things started to get a little ugly in the social media world over our collective “infringed upon” rights. But is that really what happened? Needless to say, Instagram released what I’m calling an #instapology, explaining what they really meant.


Instagram’s Little Oops

What’s become known as “Instagram’s Suicide Note” was a change in their Terms of Use. In a meeting with other business owners today, people said that they had heard of Instagram for the first time yesterday – on the news! I guess it’s a good way to get more exposure. Interestingly enough, a lot can change in a day. While the effects of this have yet to be seen, if there was a better option out there yesterday, a lot of people would have jumped on-board.

Below are some of the items that showed up in the Terms of Use that got people a little riled up.

Instagram Terms of Use

Wait! Things are changing?? That can’t be good. Let’s find out what’s going on.

Instagram Terms of Service

And the ensuing reactions were crazy! I saw everything from violent cursing to comparing Instagram to MySpace and dinosaurs! Now that’s a little extreme, isn’t it?

(you can read the full Instagram post here)


Fearing for their very lives (ok… livelihood), Instagram sent out a post on their blog that tried to make things a bit clearer. Kevin Systron (Instagram’s co-founder) sent out the following explanation:


In a calm and collected post on Instagram’s blog, Kevin Systrom tried to assuage the fears of millions by explaining their intentions with the updated Terms of Use. This shouldn’t really be a shock but here it is – Instagram was created as a business… to make money! What!?! That’s just crazy talk.

After graduating from Stanford, Kevin cut his teeth in the startup world, first as an intern at Odeo, the company that birthed Twitter, then worked at Google for 2 years. It shouldn’t be surprising that he was trying to create something profitable, right? All those Stanford loans weren’t going to pay themselves.

Whatever his intentions, people were livid. Many of the “dissatisfied” were ready to start wiping out all their photos and deleting their account.  Several were plotting to storm the Instagram castle. Heck, I might have had similar thoughts if I was even a halfway decent photographer.

Google Search

And people were already searching for new “apps like instagram.” Even just a partial search of “apps li…” turned up the most popular search of people looking to replace their once beloved Instagram. I downloaded and checked out the new Flickr app. Was it a coincidence that it came out on the same day as the Great Instagram Debacle? I think not.

But has anything really changed? It seems that Instagram was just further clarifying the position they had previously established. But then again, most of us don’t read those Terms of Agreement things anyway. As far as I know, I might have accidentally given away my rights to my next child to Apple. Did I? Someone please let me know.

We can all get a little clingly sometimes, can’t we? We don’t like to change, we depend on and let our lives revolve around certain technologies, but when things should and need to change (oh how I miss mix-tapes!) we get upset.

Inception Meme

We should thank Instagram. Even if things don’t change that much, or if they choose not to heavily monetize the app, we should always be searching out new technologies and ideas to replace the ones that don’t serve us well anymore. Loyalty is perfectly appropriate in many cases, but technology is simply meant to be a tool that makes our lives easier. If we cling to it and won’t change, we become the tool. 😉 I’ve been there before and so have you. Let’s try to be quick to learn new things. I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, “Life is either a daring adventure… or nothing.” Let’s try to have a little more fun when life throws us a curve-ball. Social media was meant to be fun, right?