A Social Irony
You cannot have escaped the massive backlash following Instagram's policy changes meaning users will effectively allow Instagram to copy photos uploaded through their software for advertising, market research and targeted re-marketing and marketing campaigns.
While the press is buzzing this morning about an 'Instagram U-Turn' it is important to note that that isn't what they have done at all - they have merely put the policy changes into layman's terms. In their press release 'Thank you and We're Listening' Instagram define exactly what it is they will be doing with users photos, changing their policy to include some 'better' wording (however, judging by the tone blog post it seems that Instagram are speaking to an audience of slightly stupid 2 year old turnips).
The move came into public notice after the very newsworthy fall-out with Twitter over photo distribution, ending in Twitter taking away the ability for users to view photos in their Twitter streams. The rocky relationship between Twitter and Facebook gets no better, it seems.
While the move has come as a shock to its millions of users, it is important to remember that Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year meaning this decision can be traced back to them; profile photos and 'likenesses' have been used in Facebook advertising for years, it was only a matter of time until Instagram adopted with method too.
As the prime example of a Social Information Goldmine, Facebook's entire premise relies on selling information uploaded within it; Instagram's 'sudden' change of policy when seen through the eyes of a Facebook-ian becomes less of a surprise and more of an acceptance of an ever-lucrative form of Social Media advertising.
Where do We go from Here?
Moving forward, users have the option to effectively opt-out and boycott Instagram by the 16th January 2013 which will give everyone enough time to add their sepia Christmas tree or New Years fireworks to their Tumblr blog before they unsubscribe.
While this may be the end of Instagram as we know it, there will always be something waiting in the wings to take over - watch this space developers! The battle for Social Network domination is far from over.
As we enter 2013, it proves to be the most exciting year yet for Social, this is simply the start!