In a move to protest Instagram's new vision for its lucrative future, many of its most loyal users have suspended or deleted their accounts. So have some of its best. The company yesterday apologized for putting language into its updated term of service agreement that offers Instagram (and its parent Facebook) the ability to sell user photos as advertisements. The statement from CEO Kevin Systrom reiterated that the company will find other ways to make money, leaving a lot of people skeptical. No matter what new language Instagram puts in a revision, however, the only way to opt out is to not play along at all, which has led some of the service's most beloved users to reconsider the site-altogether. Thanks, a lot Instagram. Here's to you, our suddenly lost photographers:
The organization disappointed its huge, nearly 650,000-person Instagram fanbase when it posted the photo at right on its account this morning. We'll especially miss this feed because, like the photos in its magazine and on its site, the Instagram feed features some of the most incredible photography from around the world. Luckily, National Geographic hasn't disabled the entire account. So we can still see a lot of the great photos it has posted to the site over at its Instagram web page.
This photojournalist had his son hold up a goodbye sign as his farewell to the site, at least for now. He posted the image on his tumblr along with the following message:
This is my son Mateo. Photography is how I provide for him, clothe him, put him in school. Photography is my passion, my calling, and my means of livelihood. Now Instagram and Facebook want to take my hard earned imagery, and use it to generate income for themselves.
What they have done is signal the end and failure of what could have been a revolutionary social media platform for visual communication.
So for now, I must take a step back and reassess my place on Instagram.
Lowy is repped by Getty Images and did a series for The New Yorker's Instagram feed, documenting both the RNC and DNC. On his Instagram feed he also covered many major news events, including the recent Newtown shooting and superstorm Sandy.
Another photographer featured in The New Yorker's Instagram series, Nordemon told Time's Adam McAuley that "as much as I held on tightly, I'm going to let go lightly." His work has also been featured in The New Yorker, Saveur, Fortune, and exhibited around New York. On his Instagram feed we would get a taste of that with memorable, heart-able slice-of-life photography.
This Wired writer, who said his goodbye to the service in a post "Why I Quit Instagram," isn't a professional photographer or anything. But when the early adopters give up on a service, it can signal a nearing finishline. Honan joined Instagram in November 2010, a month after its launch, a year and a half before it got so big that Facebook had to buy and corrupt it. While Instagram might offer up a better terms of service agreement, it doesn't sound like Honan will go back — he writes that it's "remarkable that the company has shown such utter disrespect" for people like him. Unlike our other quitters, Honan deleted his entire account forever, so we can't even take a walk down memory lane.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen
We won't specifically miss Thiessen's presence, but she was among a few celebrities to claim she was quitting the service. (We'll see how long that holds up.) If Instagram, however, does succeed in scaring away famous people, we the people will lose out on a unique look into into these people's lives — and, occasionally, whatever they're selling this week. In an age of paparazzi, these Instagram feeds provide a look at celebrities, on their terms. It might not be the most genuine picture, but neither are the ones taken by celebrity photographers. Thiessen still has her feed, full of lots of adorable photos of her daughter, available here.