Instagram has made effective one of its biggest changes in its commercial policy since the social network was acquired by Facebook and announced its financing through advertising. According to the company itself, as of January 16, 2014, Instagram will have the power to sell photos of users that it deems appropriate to third parties, without paying any remuneration to the author and without prior notice. A news that without a doubt has set off many alarms and has created a lot of confusion and discontent among the users of the social network of the photographs.
From now on, any photo that appears on Instagram can be purchased by any other company to be used for any purpose (including advertising purposes). All this through the negotiation with Instagram and not with the author of the photograph. The only way to prevent Instagram from using our photos at will is to eliminate our social network account before the aforementioned January 16th.
This new policy is not new on the internet, and in fact it is becoming a general trend in the network. The news comes days after Youtube modifies its algorithms and has multiplied its demands for copyright infringement. The objective to be pursued seems to be that the users lose all control over their creations, be they photos or videos, and the support and publication platforms are those that have absolute control over the publication and distribution of the works they are hosting.
To give an example, it is as if the author of a painting exhibits it in a museum and the museum unilaterally decides that it can sell that painting to whomever it wishes. With the difference that Instagram have a huge social, as well as artistic, potential.
In the end, one of the main goals of Instagram (and by extension Facebook) when taking this measure is to market with our information. From our photos and our circle of friends in social networks you can extract a lot of information about ourselves and there are companies that pay a lot of money for that information (do not forget that information is power). Selling those photos or that information to third parties can have unpleasant consequences: on the one hand, it is being marketed without our permission with something of our own creation; On the other hand, we will never know where that information will go or what use will be made of it.
If until now the concerns of Instagram users were getting users or buying likes on Instagram , from now on they will have a much more serious problem: knowing that their photos are susceptible to becoming merchandise, whether they want it or not.