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Media Center

What Enterprises Can Learn from the Consumer Backlash Against Instagram

  • This is a "teachable moment" for enterprises regarding the dangers of online terms.
  • No Jitter (www.nojitter.com)
  • 1/1/2013
  • Justin Castillo

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social media site, recently ignited a firestorm of protest from consumers during its short-lived attempt to revise its terms of service to allow it to "monetize" (if not actually sell) user content. Critics of the new terms charged that, while ownership of a photo or other content nominally remained with the user, the proposed new terms would have given Instagram broad license to profit from users' content. In the digital world, where ownership is less important than control, Instagram's assertion that it was not trying to claim ownership of users' content was, critics suggested, a distinction without a difference.

An unexpected dividend of the incident is that it is a "teachable moment" for enterprises regarding the dangers of online terms. While I've written before about the dangers that service guides pose to enterprise customers, the Instagram donnybrook provides some useful new perspectives and insights regarding on-line terms ("OLTs" for ease of reference).

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