It took less than 24 hours for a social media uproar and an updated policy.
The main concern that alarmed users was that Instagram could now use and sell their photos without compensation:
In response to user’s comments and feedback, Instagram posted on their blog last night that it is not their intention to sell user’s pictures and utilize them for advertisements:
“From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.” (Source: http://bit.ly/TZheIt )
It appears that this battle has been won by the community, but what does this mean for brands and businesses that are trying to enhance their engagement on this growing social media platform?
Instagram clearly states in their response to the community that they are looking for many different ways to become a self-sustaining business, and advertising is one of the many ways they can do so.
You may begin to see Instagram ads that appear extremely similar to Facebook sponsored stories and promoted posts. Hence the language they used in their updated policy. For example, if you are scrolling through your Instagram feed, you may notice an ad stating how a friend is following a particular brand on Instagram. It would show their name and their profile picture, just like you’ve seen in your Facebook news feed.
This is also another small battle won for brands. Businesses may now have the option of innovative advertising to help build a more meaningful following and fan community. In the long run for the users, we will begin to see greater forms of brand promotions and brand content on Instagram.