If You Want to Leave Instagram You’re Using it Wrong

instagram tos changesHoly crap, people. Really?

Every time one of these social networks tweaks their terms of service to work with the changing environment that is their business model, people lose their sh*t. Have we not grown any perspective from what happened last weekend? If you haven’t, that’s not my message for this post anyway so you can just feel bad by yourself.

For those who’ve been hiding under a rock the last day or so, Instagram announced they were changing their Privacy Policy. Then, the media misconstrued the information and put the public into a raging panic by saying that Instagram is going to sell your photos to advertisers on Facebook and you get none of the money and no ability to opt out. So naturally if you want a say, you must leave altogether, thus starting #BoycottInstagram. And then Instagram responded and said, no really. That’s not going to happen the way you people are saying it is. Please calm down while you feverishly continue to post on Instagram all mad and stuff. (P.S. Thanks for using our platform to share your feelings because that really shows how much you plan to leave.)

Regardless of what the truth is, here is what is most important to note. Does Instagram have the ability to do what they want with your photos? YES. Why? YOU’RE USING THEIR PLATFORM. Reality check.

I keep hearing people say they’re leaving Instagram and they found other platforms they like with much better options and they can’t wait to snub the new photo satan. And to that I say:

Instagram is not a tool. It’s a network.

There are not better photo-sharing platforms.

There are better targeted audiences.

If you’ve been using Instagram to display your beautiful photography and feel you need to leave because your work cannot be sold to various advertisers (if that’s even true after all this), then that’s fine. But everyone needs a little reminder that when you use a platform that’s not yours, you’re getting access to a network built for you to advertise yourself on.

But you do not own it. Those who giveth can also taketh away. So maybe it’s time to let them monetize without lighting our hair on fire so we can continue to take advantage of the incredible user base Instagram has built for us. Maybe?

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m crazy?