Saturday, January 12, 2013

Online Albums: The Scrapbook 2.0

Did you have a fun night out with your friends? You typically post a picture. Have a really delicious looking meal? You probably posted a picture. Our personal lives are typically closely tied with our online world, and sometimes even overlap our professional lives. Photo-sharing is often how we keep friends and family both far and near in the loop about our lives. It is like a real snapshot of lives followed by hashtags. However, these regular updates of pictures can have a harmful effect on our lives.

With all of these things that seem normal or just life, there are people who want to use them to make advertisements more personal and less picture-esq. Instagram recently released new terms and conditions that allowed them to harness these pictures for third party use without consent or compensation. The outrage of new terms lead to Instagram losing half of their daily uses a month after they were released. Even though Instagram retracted the new terms many people felt like their personal lives, and up close and personal moments were violated. Even though Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said that they would be changing a clause of the new terms and replacing it with the original terms. They have decided to gear away from marketing and come back to it at a later date. However, this cut was already too deep and many people moved to photo-sharing sites such as Yahoo!'s Flickr which was created to rival Instagram with similar features, including being an app and having filters.

Many large companies and celebrities stopped using Instagram with the new terms, including National Geographic and Kim Kardashian. The number of users went from 16.35 million users to 8.42 million users in a week. 

Ironically, the parent company of Instagram, Facebook is allowed to access your photos much like Instagram intended to. However, Facebook has always been able to access photos.

A new app allows people to share photos for limited amounts of time, Snapchat. You take a picture and it is gone in seconds once opened, and you even get a notification if your photo was screenshotted by the receiving end. While this technology is new, many arguments against it include that it is the new way to "sext" AKA "sexual texting" or sending inappropriate pictures. Snapchat does not hold pictures so it is still under investigation.

Inappropriate pictures often effect job prospects for people. Many people's personal lives overlap with their professional because they post pictures of them getting drunk. There have been instances when a woman was depressed and took a leave of absence from work. She then posted pictures of her "having
fun and being happy" forcing her to lose benefits. It is still in litigation.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of using an individual's photos for advertisements? How about that Facebook can and Instragram cannot?


References

Bosker, Bianca. "Nathalie Blanchard: Depressed Woman Loses Benefits Over Facebook Photos." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Nov. 2009. Web. 12 Jan. 2013.

"Instagram Loses Users in Photo Rights Backlash." TVNZ. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2013.

Kelly, Heather. "Instagram Backtracks on Terms of Service." CNN. Cable News Network, 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 Jan. 2013.