Insta-Sham?: Has Instagram proven its legitimacy?

The app that many use to let others know what they eat, how they paint their nails and where they go/pretend to go on Friday nights, claims it has overcome the powerful blow it faced in December when it made unpopular changes to its terms of service.  However, not everyone agrees.

As a result, many high-profile Instagram users deleted their accounts, exported photos and threatened to abandon the site after it released updates to its terms of service that made it seem as though it had the power to sell user pictures as advertisements without permission or compensation.  Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom, responded to user dissatisfaction by changing the advertising section of Instagram's Terms of Service back to the original version, which made clear that while it could put ads next to user photos it could not sell user photos as ads.

While Instagram claims it has bounced back since proposing the notorious changes to its terms of service, with roughly 90 million monthly active users, 40 million uploaded photos per day, 8,500 likes and 1000 comments, not everyone agrees. AppStats, an app traffic company, provided information about Instagram that shows it may very well still be in the midst of a user dilemma. It reported that in the month since the alterations to the terms of service, Instagram has lost more than half of all of its active users.

It is hard to say whether Instagram will continue to flourish far into the future of the world, but it is obvious that it will continue to flourish far into the future of the Boston College campus where many students refuse to even enter a mod without Instagramming at least one picture of the telltale backdoors and even more telltale sweat-on-forehead-it-is-hot-in-here/our-kick-out-then-walk-home-to-Upper-is-imminent look. Filters are precious gifts.

(Instagram: good or bad for photography?)

What is most important for students to get out of Instagram’s struggle is not the probability of its future success, but how crucial it is to read the policies for social media sites, and everything else, they use. It is not only important what they read, but how they read it, for as Systrom said in an Instagram blog post, “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret.”

Be smart so the world can continue to enjoy sites that provide gems as magical as the selfie with little filter that says, “I just got out of bed and still look hot. Okay, fine. I fixed my hair.”


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.



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Meidema comes from Queens, New York, and if you knew her that would explain a lot. She is an English major with a Creative Writing concentration, who hopes to one day have a more lucrative career than her interests suggest. She enjoys shopping, dancing, eating, rapping, and a whole lot of other verbs that are equally as awesome. She also enjoys being an Associate News Editor on the Gavel Media team, and encourages all y’all to follow its Facebook page!