Users fear that their photos and photos of their loved ones might show up on a billboard advertisement or seem in some magazine ad without their consent. This sparked a series of angry tweets by users swearing that they would delete their accounts and encourage others to do so. Instagram, which was recently bought by Facebook for $1 billion dollars, responded via twitter by saying “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.”
The one quote that stood out the most in the article was one by U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey, co-chairman of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, when he said “A picture is worth a thousand words; posting one to Instagram should not cost you your privacy”.
Personally I dont think there is much they can say to undo what has already been done. The Instagram brand thrived on being unique and allowing users to share and express themselves on the app. Now with this policy change, it has shifted its focus on creativity and self expression, and instead is now concerned with making money. Since Facebook went public the problem of how it actually generates enough revenue to stay afloat is still an issue and I believe this is just another tactic they are trying out.
This does not only affect users who wish to share their photos with others, but business who rely on Instagram to sell their own products and brand. For example a tattoo artist might share a photo of a design he recently did for a customer, now that artwork that he created is no longer his own, and gives Instagram the ability to redistribute and sell his artwork for a profit. The same goes for any profession that is image based, photographers or illustrators are also concerned that their work might be sold without any compensation.
My advice (although I doubt this will be used) is to reimburse users whose photos are sold or redistributed, not with money but with some sort of gamification similar to Foursquare’s badge and mayor system. Even if you done compensate users with actual currency, most people these days will still participate if they know they are getting something out of it, even if that something is an intangible award.