Nothing is Free, Not Even Instagram


After all the hoopla following their new Terms of Use, Instagram is still feeling the backlash from their users even after the co-founder, Kevin Systrom, apologized last week. The Facebook owned company recently created uproar with its users after implying they would use their photos with no compensation.  May I remind these users that, nothing in life is free, not even “free” apps.

WHAT USERS INITIALLY THOUGHT: Many users are upset about the fact that Instagram would now be able to use their users’ photos and sell them to third-party advertising partners without any compensation to the actual user. Users think that Instagram will be taking full ownership of their photos, which Instagram has pointed out is not true. Fact is, users jumped to conclusions once they saw the words “advertisements” and “no compensation”.

INSTAGRAM RESPONDS: Instagram is not intending to use random users’ photos just because they feel like using them. The intention was to use certain photos for the purpose of advertising that they feel could be innovative and helpful.  According to Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram: “Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010.” (Smart move Instagram) “…We are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.” Maybe they should have thought about that before hand, but I suppose mistakes were bound to happen.

The fact is Instagram is a business. It was clearly built on this platform with every intention to grow amongst users, and in the past year the growth has gotten so huge that Facebook purchased it for $1 billion! Keeping that in mind, users had to expect some sort of big change otherwise Instagram would not have developed and grew at such a speedy rate.

As a business, Instagram’s overall goal is in fact to make money. Since the app itself is “free” Instagram needed to figure out how to use advertising in the most cost efficient manner. Personally, I feel everyone overreacted with the situation. There is essentially nothing in this world that is free, so why would users think that Instagram was? They were going to have to pay one way or another eventually, and here it is.



Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY Social Media company specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.