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Instagram’s December 17 announcement regarding its revised terms of service prompted what was undoubtedly the biggest app user revolt in social media history. Instagram addicts began uploading blank photos through the app, using boycott hashtags on Twitter– even deleting their IG accounts en masse.
I was a little more introspective about the whole thing.
I continue to view last week’s event as just a Qwikster blip on Instagram’s trajectory — a “What Were You Thinking?” misstep that will bring the company some bad press, but won’t tarnish all the strides it has made over the past year.
Over the years, we’ve seen networks struggle to balance its business model with the expectations of its users who expect great things at no cost. It wasn’t too long ago that Pinterest’s TOS stated that it had the power to sell users’ photos. And that site didn’t have the pressure of proving ROI for a $1 billion investment as Instagram now does.
Even Facebook, the sugar daddy who plunked down the cool bill for Instagram, is still teetering between pleasing shareholders’ and users’ expectations. Just last week, Facebook announced its intent to offer users the ability to send private messages to non-friends for a $1 per message. How long do you think that feature will last?
So take a look at Instagram’s achievements of 2012. Marvel in all that it has accomplished in just twelve months. And hope that the company prospers in 2013 in a way that jibes well with its 100 million users.
Are you with me? Do you think last week’s attempt to monetize was a Qwikster moment — or something more deleterious to the future of Instagram?
Headline Photo Credit: Flickr CC/The U.S. Army