NYT outlines the ways in which Instagram is about to become creepy and sleazy.
The long and the short is that they can share your information, use your photos in ads without your permission, use pictures of folks in ads who may not even be Instagram or Facebook users, and will show advertising content and not distinguish it as such.
Does this mean that I shall angrily boycott this service out of principle? The evidence suggests otherwise. See, Facebook is a douchey, corporate sellout — hell, it was designed to be one! — and I hate it, but it's become something one is almost obligated to use in my line of work, and it's the path of least resistance in keeping up with friends and family.
Twitter is striving to reach ever-grander heights of douchiness in how it's carpet-bombing its developer community, banning folks who anger its corporate partners' PR departments, and, overall, turning itself into a gaudy electronic billboard. I'm, of course, still there.
Google is douchey, so is Apple, Amazon, etc., etc.
The Way of All Things these days says that participation in the web means signing over a lot of your information and, frankly, your claim to your very identity, to big corporations who you hope-beyond-hope will not use them nefariously. This is fine much of the time — I'd rather Google target ads to me that are relevant to me than to just shove some arbitrary ad content in my face. Much of what we like and enjoy about all these services depend on us essentially saying, okay, do what you will with what you know about me.
I'm going to keep using things like Twitter and yeah, I'll probably keep using Instagram. Lost will be the sense that I am joining some plucky upstarts as they Change the World.
It's all with this big, deep sense of resignation. The e-world is racing ahead, and if you want to play along, you allow for these encroachments. To change it, folks need to decide that it's gotten out of control. At this stage, I'm not the guy to lead the walkout, I'm part of the problem in that I'm going to play along until I feel genuinely threatened (which, as of now, I really do not). The new policies of Instagram seem rather flagrant, so maybe its trespasses will be the defining gust that blows me over the line.*
Until then, I have pictures of my cute kids to show everybody.
*Note: This paragraph was added to help clarify my stance after I got an unnecessarily nasty tweet about this post.