Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The future of Instagram.

In some earlier blog post's I mentioned that the only thing that can hurt Instagram would be the actions of the developers and managers.  Well as I mentioned yesterday, there has been an announcement of a change to the terms of service of the popular photo sharing app.  The outrage was instantaneous and with many suggesting they will stop using the service in protest.  After a public out cry there seems to be a change of heart by Instagram, although they have not said what those changes will be.

While I enjoy using the site I am sure there are expenses involved and that Facebook and developers do have he right to make money from the site however they can.  Yet they should really do this in consultation with the users of their service.  I think this is why there has been such an uproar as it has been perceived as a unilateral change with no consideration to the public.

Now I don't think my two cents here will make much of a difference, but on the off chance that someone at Facebook and Instagram are following the hashtags here are my thoughts.  If we are the product and they want to sell us to companies with the hope of them purchasing adds that might relate to us is fine.  Now I don't really pay attention to the pop ups and know that is the price you pay for a "free" service.  They can then decide to offer a pop-up free version for those who want it.

Now the idea that our photographs could be used in selling service and products of corporations that we may not want to use them bothers all of us.  However I would bet that if Instagram offered a cut of the usage rights that many people would gladly accept.  This would be no different then selling Micro stock and any gallery usually collects a fee for selling your photographs.  I know that if my images where being used regularly and I was making money as well it would be welcomed.  I am taking the photo's anyway and unless I have another outlet to sell my photo's (and these photo's would not be shared on Instagram) I would be happy to let them market them for me.  

An area though that I see could be a problem for Instagram and Facebook in this plan is the fact that I would bet that 90% of photo's on the app are not model or property released.  Thus if a corporation decided to use a photo of a recognizable person or certain landmarks that have the right to market their images they could find a heap of legal trouble.  A person could sue all those involved for the use of their image and since most of the people who post photographs don't have much to go after the focus would be the companies using the photo's and Instagram and Facebook themselves.  I believe there are already strong cases against this type of usage so the parties involved should be forewarned.

I will be waiting to see exactly what is announced and the terms of services more clearly explained.  Hopefully there will be some more clarification in the days ahead and they will come forward with an example of how they intend to implement their idea.  If this happens then users will have a clear understanding and can decide for themselves.  If the powers making the decisions choose poorly then my predication of Instagram being a fad may just come true.

I guess it is good that my Instagram 366 project will end in 13 days and before the new terms of service kick in.  It will give me an opportunity to wrap it up and move on to a new project in 2013.  So I will share my before and two after shots created for today's Photo of the Day.  I photographed our musical snowman as the subject for today taking in to consideration the square crop for Instagram.  You can see the full photo in the first image below.
After cropping and doing a little fine tuning with Snapseed I opened the file in the Jazz app.  This image below was actually the second option the app gave to me, but I chose it as I liked the warmth and mood it created.  I did tweak it a bit to make it more to my liking and that is one of the things I like about Jazz.  I gives you suggestions and then you can fine tune it.
This was an earlier suggestion and I liked the grittier feel and I made some minor adjustments to suit the mood.  While I did like it I did not feel it really gave the Christmas spirit so I picked the brighter one.

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