Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Yesterday, I mentioned, or at the very least linked to, how Facebook was updating Instagram's terms of service. The changes would permit them to be able to use any photo from any user for any commercial purposes without compensation, and the only way to opt out of this arrangement was to delete your Instagram account before January 16. If you deleted your account after that date, too bad, Facebook could sell your photos anyway.

Many, many people immediately decided to take them up on that 'delete your account' option. Several of those people were fairly prominent accounts, such as, oh, say, National Geographic, who has suspended theirs and is considering deletion. In fact, a website quickly popped up called Free The Photos which people can use to migrate their Instagram photos to Flickr.

You would be amazed how fast newly-publicly-traded companies will react to a sharp, sudden dropoff in business. You'd also be amazed how surprised an online entity would be that people are actually reading the blasted user agreements nowadays, or at least that one person that did read it can tell people who haven't what scary language has been inserted. Because Facebook has already begun backtracking, pledging to have another look at the we-can-sell-your-photos provision and going 'no, no, that's not what we were intending to do'.

Given how many times people have seen someone get busted planning to do something, backtrack, and then do it anyway the second people aren't watching them anymore, that's not likely to keep Free The Photos from racking up the hits for a while.

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