What’s going on with Instagram?

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By Victoria Cullinan

Instagram is one of the most commonly used cell phone apps on the market today. According to information from Instagram’s official website, there are currently 90 million monthly active users and 40 million photos are uploaded daily.

These photos range from shots of delicious food to best friends getting ready for a Saturday night out.

What makes this app so popular and alluring is the fact that it allows you to customize your pictures by changing the lighting and the color scale.

Kelly Breslauer ‘16 and Danielle Frederick ‘16 love this aspect of the app because it makes them feel “artistic and creative,” and it helps make the pictures they take look more original and beautiful. Frederick also thinks its great how you can upload photos and share them with friends and other followers. She describes it as a “neat outlet” that allows her to get feedback and likes from her friends and family. Like Facebook, Instagram is a great social medium that allows photos, ideas and opinions to be shared across the globe.

Recently, however, Instagram has issued a new policy that has caused quite an outcry from users. The new terms of service now allow Instagram to sell their users’ photos to advertisers. This new clause is a contradiction to the claim they made back in December, which had assured users that Instagram had no intention of selling photos to advertisement companies.

Instead, the real purpose of this change in policy is so Instagram can display users’ profile pictures and information about who they follow as part of an ad, a social marketing technique similar to what Facebook uses.

Overall, this change is mainly centered on bringing Instagram closer to its Facebook parent company. Instagram attempted to reassure followers by fixing the language in the new clause to better reflect the true purpose of this change and to emphasize the fact that the photos strictly belong to the users. Still, users are  hesitant and unhappy with the change because many believe it is an infringement on their privacy rights. According to information from AppData, the number of daily active users has already begun to decline, and people are now posting links online with information about how you can delete Instagram but still save your photos.

Despite the new policy change, Instagram is too big of an app to truly fade away from cell phones completely. It is highly unlikely that all 90 million users would delete their accounts because of a small policy change.

Also, the company earnestly says that they have zero intention of selling photos to advertisement companies. I talked to multiple students at Union and they all agreed that the policy change would have no effect on their use of Instagram.

Personally, I think the only people who would have a negative attitude towards the change are parents who would not want to see their children’s photos, especially if they are younger, used in ads.

Most importantly, I know that I’m not the only one who would be disappointed if I could no longer see all the beautiful pictures of the Nott on Instagram!­

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