If you don’t use photos or photo sharing social sites like Instagram for your business, then you probably could care less about this news. And rightly so. But if you’re in the business of taking photos, or using personal photos for your company, this is somewhat a slap in your face. And small business owners are a little tired of getting pushed around.
But before everyone starts rushing to delete their account, let’s look at this rationally. If millions of users delete their account in response to te latest news that Instagram is granting itself the right to sell its users’ photos before the January 16th date, in which this policy is suppose to take effect, then Instagram has pretty much shot itself in the foot. And if they don’t have millions of accounts to pull from to offer bigger busineses and organizations for photo purchases, they’ve loss both the supply and demand (ideally). No more ‘muss’, no more fuss.
Back to the little guys. Would we be charged a fine or penalty for using our own photos because we didn’t purchase it from Instagram and acquired written permission? Could we be subject to face copyright infringement issues for using our own work? When would we be notified that someone or some company has purchased a photo we took? And could we use that transaction for promotion and advertising to our benefit (since we’re not getting a check)?
Now that Instagram has figured out a way to profit on everyone else’s contribution, what is the best option for businesses, freelancers, and the self employed who uses Instagram as tool for operation, marketing and exposure? Well, we could hold out as long as we can to see if Instagram will fine tune their policy about selling our photos without compensation or notification. And if not, delete. The only one who should profit off our work (time, energy, contribution, etc.) is us.
- The top 5 Instagram Marketing Successes (viralblog.com)
- Instagram and Your Small Business (customerthink.com)