Why I Can’t be Mad at Instagram

Opinion / 18 December 2012 / by Josh Hudnall
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.

Andrew Lewis

That quote gets thrown around a lot in my circles these days. Last night and this morning I was a little annoyed-slash-frustrated with Instagram-slash-Facebook for the change in the Instagram Terms of Service. But I can’t be mad or annoyed or frustrated. Not really. And neither can you.

Instagram shouldn’t be free. We should all be paying for it. And, in fact, it’s not free. Someone’s paying for it. In a perfect world, Instagram would cost money—$30 a year or maybe $1 per month—whatever. Then there would be no need for ads or for them to sell our images to whomever they want.

Bottom line, if you’re not paying for it, you can’t really complain. You can stop using it. You can cancel your account—and do it before January 1 if you want it to protect your images. But we—you and I—have no stake in Instagram, and therefore no real right to feel cheated or deceived. I am, however, bummed out.

Update: Instagram just posted a blog somewhat clarifying the changes.

Update 2: Instagram posted another update reverting the changes for now.