Over the past few years, I have been fairly critical about Facebook — starting first with its absurd valuation, and then moving to its abuse of privacy and data mining about its users, its frequent unannounced changes to its terms, and the general disdain with which it treats its users.

Although I was an Instagram fan, once FB bought the company, I stopped using the app (there are lots of alternatives).

This morning, I was reading the latest terms of service for the photo app — and they are nothing short of insane.

Facebook will be adding advertisements into Instagram’s application — and you and your kids may be part of them. From the NYT Bits blog, here are the changes in Instagram’s privacy policy that you should be aware of:

1. Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers.

2. You could star in an advertisement — without your knowledge.

3. Underage users are not exempt.

4. Ads may not be labeled as ads.

5. Want to opt out? Delete your account.

Number five turns out to be a great idea — this morning, I deleted my Instagram account. At this rate, its only a matter of time before Facebook gets deleted . . .


What Instagram’s New Terms of Service Mean for You
Bits, December 17, 2012, 5:02 pm

Category: Really, really bad calls, Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

21 Responses to “Facebook Destroys Instagram”

  1. PeterR says:

    As someone here has been sayin’ . . .


    The Farce is with them!

    May The Force be with you and your loved ones during the holidays.

    Peace on Earth.

  2. Why You Should Want to Pay for Software, Instagram Edition

    Under these conditions, companies have to sell themselves because they do not have a sustainable business. And when they’re sold, they either A) get shut down or B) become part of an advertising machine, like Facebook’s.

    Truly, the only way to get around the privacy problems inherent in advertising-supported social networks is to pay for services that we value. It’s amazing what power we gain in becoming paying customers instead of the product being sold.

    Here’s an alternative version of what Instagram could have done before Facebook purchased them. Instagram has, what, 100 million users? If they got $5 a month from 20 million of those users, they’d be looking at $300 million in quarterly revenue. That’s a nice chunk of change when you have a baker’s dozen employees. You think those guys could split more than a billion dollars a year and call it good. Or hell, make the user numbers an order of magnitude smaller: 2 million out of 10 million users. That’s still $30 million dollars a quarter for 13 guys.

  3. Julia Chestnut says:

    Sorry – can’t talk right now. I have a blog entry to forward to a bunch of moms. . .

  4. BennyProfane says:

    “At this rate, its only a matter of time before Facebook gets deleted . . .”

    Do it. You’ll feel better.

  5. george lomost says:

    Glad I never opened an Instagram account. Facebook was really useful for a while but I rarely use it any more. If it weren’t for my friends overseas I would have pulled the plug already.

    Apple is getting weird: http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/17/2499970/judge-denies-apple-request-to.html

    My Samsung phone does everything I need for far less than Apple’s premium. Apple is getting really uncool.I have an Apple II, a couple of PowerMacs, early iMac in the basement, but I won’t be buying any more Apple products as long as this management team in in place. Goodbye Mr. Cook.

  6. [...] Facebook continues to suck, wait til you read the new terms of service they've added to Instagram.  (TBP) [...]

  7. subscriptionblocker says:

    Can you imagine what the public is in for when FB buys their first financial company?

  8. AHodge says:

    they are out of control
    i get message this AM A…Hodge is waiting for you (AHodge) to see his post on your timeline? WTF
    notices that companies want to be my friend
    they are about to be history
    folks can migrate

    the only way those valuations worked was
    as one tout analyst suggested
    is a whole new level of up the but marketing pushes based on “your” data. scary but no sign so far that they know how

  9. [...] great interweb is in an almighty furore over Instagram changes in terms and conditions (thank you NY Times) which allow them to fully [...]

  10. ByteMe says:

    I’ve opted out of having to maintain a public-facing online persona.

    Leaves me more time to play with my family.

  11. JJ Butler says:

    In July of 2006 the Yahoo finance message boards changed to a crappy format…in one weekend the worthwhile participates migrated to Investor Village. Something similiar may occur from Facebook…

  12. [...] far. I mean it’s so insane. You guys are all seriously cray cray if you think you can just do what you’re doing and still have friends. I hope you come to your senses dude, cuz I liked hanging out with [...]

  13. louiswi says:

    You will be thrilled once you delete your facebook account and return to some semblance of normal life.

    In addition how about a nationwide movement to be “TV FREE IN TWO OH ONE THREE”. You won’t believe how rich your life can become when you make that move.

  14. WKWV says:

    TV free. No Baseball for a year? Noooooooooo…

  15. [...] The Instagram TOS backlash.  (Daring Fireball, The Atlantic, Big Picture) [...]

  16. Jojo says:

    There goes a billion dollars down the sinkhole…

  17. Jack Damn says:

    This might be of use to some people:

    - How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account
    - http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/how-to-download-your-instagram-photos-and-kill-your-account/

    First you’ll want to download all of your photos. Instaport will download your entire Instagram photo library in just a few minutes. Currently the service only offers a zip file download of your photos, although direct export to Flickr and Facebook are in the works.

    Once the photos are downloaded, you can upload them to another photo service. Some of the Gadget Lab staff is fond of the new Flickr app and service.

    After you’ve removed your photos from Instagram, you can quickly delete your account and pretend you’ve never even heard of Lo-Fi filter.

    But once you delete your account, that’s it. Instagram cannot reactivate deactivated accounts and you will not be able to sign up for Instagram later with the same account name.

  18. Molesworth says:

    Mr Ritholtz’s writing prompted me to stop my FB page some months ago. I never posted anything, “liked” some news articles, and on occasion looked at the crap that others had posted: baby pics, pet pics, vanity pics, prayers to jesus, new motorcycles. Don’t miss it a bit. To me, a waste of time.

  19. DeDude says:

    Given the abuses and lack of privacy I think you would have to be insane to have anything to do with Facebook. It is clear that the company has a predatory business model, and consider its users to be something they are allowed to feed on. Who would want to be chow?

  20. DeDude says:


    Actually FaceBook works like a virus. You get it on to your computer and it will be almost impossible to get rid of it. You would have to spend days and have expertise that only a few % of people have if you wanted to fully understand even the disclosed machinery of information collection and abuse you agreed to as soon as you opened an account with them. Personally I never have and never will allow my computers or other devises to be infected with FaceBook.