The Downside of Photo Apps: Instagram

wildlife photography courses Kenya Tanzania south Africa Botswana upside

It was so much fun, snapping away with Instagram, having fun choosing a fancy filter and sharing it right away with your social network. That was almost a year ago and many has change since then.

It started with the photo app getting slower with every update. Somehow they managed to make the app more complicated with the same features. Just so many steps have to be completed and decisions to be made before being able to shoot the next photo.

Then Facebook bought Instagram for an astronomic amount of money and the updates felt more and more like Facebook strategy of tightening up the service for total control and merger with the social network. Now the next step was taken with the new user terms and conditions with as a result a huge outcry of the Instagram users from photo journalists to
National Geographic and everyday snappers. Instagram can sell your images without telling you for advertising, and you won’t see any payment, you won’t even know.

It is a very confusing and disturbing matter. National Geographic as paused their Instagram account and might erase it, if the terms are indeed of that meaning. People went onto the streets to protest against it and a whole wave of blog posts is trying to explain what’s going on.

Most worrying is also the mention that the Instagram terms are pretty much the same now as the Facebook terms, which would mean that Facebook can sell you photos without telling you and mostly using them as they wish.

Where is this going? It is like anything people like, enjoy and love is kidnapped, held hostage and abused by greedy powers or going more the psychological path, narcissistic powers?

Read more about it in the listed blog posts below:

Instagram changes terms of service, but will pro photographers flee anyway?


No, Instagram can't sell your photos: what the new terms of service really mean

Why I Quit Instagram

Instagram Clearly Hates You, So Quit

New Terms of Use for Instagram: Selling Your Photos Against Your Will 

Why Instagram is Great for Photographers, and Why You Shouldn’t Use It

Facebook Poisons Instagram For Its Most Valuable Users: Real Photographers

Ute Sonnenberg for

Facebook's Emotional Limitations and its Effect on the Downfall of the Shares

innovative leadership photographic safaris training Kenya south africa facebook limitation

Facebook only made recently the step from private company to public company and in the company’s vision, the founder’s influence is still recognizable. This personal note to the concept of facebook is part of the success, yet like with anything else it got also its downside. The bright side of facebook is the creation of space to connect and share, its downside is the desire to control and that clashes with the demands of shareholders of a public company.

Facebook adverts are a great marketing tool, allowing precise planning, targeting and budgeting of adverts, but Facebook itself decides where and when your adverts appear, who sees them and at what time of the day. So if you decide on a certain rate you wish to pay for a click, it is possible that this rate is only good enough to show your advert between 2 and 3 at night and you start wondering about the slow going clicks and the kind of people responding to your advert. It is like a magical hand is moving your advert around in its own interest, not in yours.

If you decide to have a business page on facebook to engage with your clients, you might do adverts to let people know that you are there and they can become fans to be informed what you are up to. Now you think, that what you post gets to the people who became a fan of your page, but this is not the case. Only a small percentage of your fans gets to see your posts and your posts have to create immediate likes in order to be allowed to be seen also by more fan’s. If you are lucky your posts make it to be posted to almost a quarter of your fan’s feeds, for the rest facebook recommends promoting your post with an advert. But it doesn’t tell how many fans will be allowed to see then the post or if another promotion tool will come up.

Whatever you do on facebook, whatever adverts you pay for, it never means it gets the exposure and engagement you thought you were paying for. It’s like holding a sausage in front of a dog, letting the dog jump, beg and get a little bite from the sausage and when the dog thinks he will be rewarded for all his efforts, the sausage is pulled away. When you try sending a message to your page’s fans, you will notice that you don’t have access to all your fans, only to less than 5% and sending a message with an URL can not exceed the number of 5 messages per day, without URL about 20 messages per day.

How does that stimulate businesses to be active in advertising and fan pages? Many are companies active, because little bites are allowed to be taken from the sausage, but for how long are they willing to be treated like that? And for how long are they willing to pay big amounts of money for small bites and for being controlled?

The downfall of the Facebook shares shows that the controlled freedom on facebook has come to a point that essential strategic changes need to be done. Otherwise it will not only be the downfall of shares, but of facebook.

Ute Sonnenberg for