I love Instagram. You’ve heard me say this before, and if you’re following me on twitter, facebook, or instagram you’ve seen the pictures to prove it. Fun fact, the main reason I wanted an iPhone was so I would *finally* have instagram. (a week later, it went to Androids)
I’ve shared 1100+ photos, I’ve made so many good friends. There’s a different sort of connection, a more personal one, made over photos. I’ve made blog friends over the years, but we developed our friendship through instagram. May sound silly, but it’s true.
Yesterday, Instagram announced that it would be making changes to it’s terms of service, you can read about the terms directly inside the app:
Basically they can sell your photos or can use them as they wish. They acknowledge that they don’t own them, but by using the service, you give them license to use them. And for them to get paid to use them.
The Terms of Service (TOS) aren’t in effect until January 16th of 2013, so here’s what I’m doing… for now.
1.) Read the Terms of Service Yourself
There are many speculations and rumors going around, take the time to read it yourself. Here’s how:
click the little heart (where you have your notifications), and at the top you’ll see a link to the new terms of service. Click and read it.
2.) Download a copy of your Instagram feed
There are two options that I know of, you can use Copygram:
and you can get a .zip file of your feed. Download it, right click and select “unzip all” and select a destination.
Both sites are experiencing EXTREME amounts of traffic today (Dec 18) as word of the new TOS are spreading, so it might be best to wait a day or two. I mentioned @copygram in a picture and they said that “their servers are so hot, you could fry an egg on them’” :)
3.) Start watermarking your photos
I use the app Phonto or PicFrame (for iPhone) to add text to my pictures. It doesn’t have to be huge or glaring, but it’s a good idea to put it in the center, on your child’s face, some place where it won’t be cropped out as easily. I use a font that is super thin and in white, so it is still visible but doesn’t take away from the picture. Not the best photo, but here’s an example:
Regardless of whether or not you are on Instagram, you need to start watermarking your photos if you are planning on sharing them online. Here is Mandy’s story, her photos were taken and someone pretended they were her own child, and Shawntae’s story, where the chalk crown photo of her son is being used all around the world, even plastered on t-shirts. In a world of sharing, this is one small thing we can do.
4.) Play with other photo editing apps
Most times, I don’t even use the Instagram filters, but instead head to another app first to edit it and play around. My absolute favorite editing app is Afterglow, with PicFx in a close second. Some others that I have tried and loved include Camera+, Snapseed, and Diptic.
Have fun with your photos and share them the old fashioned way, or print them out.
5.) Move onto another service.
When you’re not paying for a service, you ARE the service! Remember MySpace? As soon as everyone moved to facebook, Myspace became a ghost town.
Instagram wouldn’t be around without people like us feeding it pictures and using it. If you aren’t happy, download your feed, head to "instagram.com” on your browser, and delete it.
The new terms say that you are not bound by the terms if you leave, meaning that they will not keep your information and continue to use it.
I have not decided if I will go this route. The problem with social media platforms is that when you leave, you are also leaving your friends. I’d like to wait and see if they respond to the outcry before I leave.
Edited to add: A friend posted this Huff Post article on 11 Instagram Alternatives, although I haven’t checked any of them out.
6.) Take a social media Vacation
I ditched my cable, and ditching the online world sounds pretty tempting. However, being in the business of sharing, I think I’ve gotten to a point where it’s almost impossible and this blog would tank if I did.
It is nice to take a step back and realize why we are there. To share. If we’re not comfortable with it, then maybe going private is the best thing to do.