How Instagam’s Mistake Became A Second Chance For Flickr


Flickr for iOS     Instagram Filter Willow

Instagram is making headlines after their new TOS caused many to be concerned about uploading photos to the service. Follow the update, a vocal minority of users have deleted their accounts and others are considering doing the same. While Instagram falls from grace, Flickr stands ready to catch any user looking for a better alternative.

The NY Times did a fairly detailed breakdown of changes to Instagram’s TOS. The second change they noted is the change that’s causing the most ruckus:

2. You could star in an advertisement — without your knowledge. 
A section of the new terms of service, titled “Rights,” notes that Instagram will also be able to use your photographs and identity in advertisements. “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you,” the new terms say. This means that photographs uploaded to Instagram could end up in an advertisement on the service or on Facebook. In addition, someone who doesn’t use Instagram could end up in an advertisement if they have their photograph snapped and shared on the service by a friend. Facebook already runs ads that make use of people’s activity on its site.

Though it was never Instagram’s intention to sell your photos, that’s pretty much how the new TOS could be interpreted by anyone that isn’t a lawyer. Nilay Patel from The Verge shed some light on the situation and states that Instagram can’t legally sell your photos to anyone. Instagram has also issued an apology and promises to update the new language in their TOS.

It’s still not enough to stop flocks of folks from deleting their Instagram accounts and switching to Flickr.

Flickr, a Better Alternative to Instagram?

Flickr is not a new service. It’s been around for a long-time, is home to billions of photos (eve Instagram’s) and is backed by one of the biggest technology companies on the planet: Yahoo. In fact, Flickr’s mobile apps should’ve been little Instagrams years ago, but Yahoo was too slow and let Flickr languish. Now, it looks like Flickr is getting a second chance to shift the public’s attention back to them.

Shortly before Instagram’s debacle, Flickr released a major update for its iOS app. The update includes:

  • 16 new filters provided by Aviary
  • Gorgeous new look
  • Extensive photo editing options provided by Aviary
  • Multiple photo uploads and editing (apply one filter to all photos)
  • Access to Flickr’s active built-in community
  • Notifications when Facebook and Twitter friends sign-up
  • Decent sharing options (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Email)
  • Photo stats!!

If you add in the Flickr website, Flickr essentially runs laps around Instagram all day. Plus, Flickr photos still show up on Twitter. Instagram doesn’t have groups, photo stats, multi-picture uploads, and their pics no longer show up on Twitter.

Flickr for iOS    Flickr for iOS

Flickr for iOS     Flickr for iOS

Flickr for iOS

The new Flickr iOS app is also creating a shift for longtime users like myself. Flickr is the place I backup all my photos and host photos for SheGeeks. It’s never been a social network for me and I hardly ever used the iOS app, though I downloaded it. The new look of the iOS app makes you want to use Flickr more socially, but that’s because it looks like Instagram.

Unfortunately, I’ve recently switched to Android where Flickr app still lags behind.

Stick with Instagram or Switch to Flickr?

If you’re ready to make a delete your Instagram account be sure to visit Instaport and get a copy of all your Instagram photos. Switching to Flickr? Check out freethephotos, a one-click tool to transfer Instagram photos to Flickr. For those that have already made the switch,  don’t miss the top 10 Flickr for iPhone tips.

Me? I’m waiting to see how Instagram updates their TOS. I’m not interested in being a product just because I don’t pay for service, especially if that service doesn’t offer a paid option! I haven’t uploaded any new photos to Instagram, but if I do photos will be completely tech related with the exception of outdoor pictures that aren’t geo-tagged.

If the TOS isn’t updated again – for the better – before January 1st, I’m deleting my account and sticking with Flickr for good.

  • Paul Green

    One end of this spectrum is the Perfect Customer who wants the Perfect Product for nothing. At the other end is the Perfect Business who must maximise its profits. I don’t know how much it takes to run Instagram (lots of servers for a start + broadband), but as a business they have an imperative to get as close to perfect as possible, otherwise they will become an ex-business. This conflicts with the drive of the Perfect Customer.

    Instagram and FB are media companies that acquire audience to sell to advertisers. They will do what they must. Outrage at the new ToC and the changes means that Instragram’s business model (whatever it is) is probably shot. . .until they invent a new one.

    The worrying part here is the sense of entitlement through the whole episode. It’s free. But if it keeps being free without a proper business model, then it will soon be gone.

    And while the easy solution is to say “Well, that’s fine, but they need to find a balance”, the hard part is finding and then doing the balance.

  • BrothaTech

    I’ll stick around, but I will be pulling pics of my family off of IG. My babies will not be sold to some brand. ?

  • Corvida Raven

    That’ll pretty much be my plan also – pulling all of my personal pics down.

  • Lynne d Johnson

    Funny. I was just thinking about a post about this topic yesterday, and go figure, of course you beat me to it. Great post!

  • Corvida Raven

    Thank you! You should still post your thoughts. I’ve changed my mind about what course of action I’ll take several times. Just today I decided to remove all of my photos instead of deleting my account. It’s the most tedious decision, but if you delete your account you can’t get that username back.

    So, I’m going to hold my account, but no pics. I’ll still check-in to see what friends are posting. Flickr will be my new place, but I wish they would update their Android app to be as good as the iOS app.