Instagram

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Instagram is described as a Fast, Beautiful and Fun way to share photographs with friends and family (Instagram, 2013). Instagram provides features to enhance photographs and also provides a platform to share these photos on Instagram, and also on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (Instagram, 2013). Marsh (2013) states that Instagram has an online community of over 100million users.Instagram is a free application that can be used on smartphones and as smartphones are becoming increasingly popular so is the Instagram application. I use Instagram as a social space to share photographs, but it can also be used within the arts as a platform to share photos of arts events. The application allows me to tag people and organisations in my photos and also allows hash tags ‘#’ which means my photo can be searched as its hash tagged. I use Instagram on a daily basis to share pictures of events, concerts, products, places, themselves and even the food they are eating. Not only do I use it to follow friends but due to its popularity amongst the celebrity world, I use it to follow celebrity’s lives and learn about new films and music that is coming out.

The NMC report (2012) identifies technologies that are becoming increasingly popular and one of these technologies is ‘mobile applications’. Due to the increased popularity of mobile applications, it is not a surprise to see applications such as Instagram changing its policies to adapt to the changing environment.

Here is a link to my Instagram

On January 19th 2013, Instagram changed its terms and privacy policy. One of the changes made was that the user is responsible for what is posted to their online account which protects them from being sued for Defamation in the 2009 Statute Act. Another change that caused controversy with users and social media websites was that the user’s information may be shared by businesses that are legally connected to Instagram (Instagram, 2013). It was said that Instagram had the capability to sell users photographs for advertisements, which lead to users cancelling their accounts (First Post Technology, 2013). “Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram” (Kennedy, 2013).
Although this was incorrect, Instagram had to publicly publish an article to explain clearly its terms of use. They released a statement stating that they were working on updating the language at which they communicated their change in privacy terms in order to make it clear to their users that their information will not be sold (Kennedy, 2013). It turned out that in order to keep your photos private, all that has to be altered is the user’s privacy settings (Instagram, 2013). Although this statement was released, I still feel apprehensive as to what I post on Instagram, which I feel is a negative aspect to the site.

I now think it is clear from the public’s reactions to Instagram’s policy changes and the posts made by new media bloggers that social media websites have to be cautious when changing policies or introducing new technologies. Although Instagram caused a stir in the social media world, it is clear Instagram are continuing to grow as 90 million people use the site to share photos on a monthly basis Costanza, 2013)

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