facebook buys Instagram
Why would that matter to an end user like me? I wouldn’t care if the company that makes the frige I bought for my home was sold to someone else, or changed management -it may have even happened, who cares?
Well, in this case I do.
The difference between a frige and a service like Instagram is that I, together with millions of other users, have worked hard to make it what it is. It’s my content, my presence, my gestures (likes, follows) that created its value. And if I am to keep contributing to it, I’d like to know its future: how it will evolve, how it will be governed, how it will use my work.
And I don’t like its future now that’s owned by facebook.
First of all, because Facebook has a bad track record. I used to love friendfeed.com, but when Facebook bought them, friendfeed.com turned into a zombie service -it’s still there, half-alive, half-dead. I’m afraid the same will happen with Instagram.
Second, I don’t want my Instagram account merged somehow with my facebook account. These were two separate social networks I used in different ways, with different people. I can hardly imagine facebook owning Instagram and not absorbing its services into my timeline.
You could point out that I must have been naive to even consider that I, a simple end user, will have any saying to the future of a service. You are right.
That’s why, when I started using Instagram, I immediately checked how I could export my content.
I was kindly informed by @instagramHelp that I could use instaport.me to do this, and I have been doing so since.
But this is far from optimal.
We, as end users, need more. We need to control a larger part of the infrastructure that hosts our content. And we need services to provide a contract with us, that states their commitments and responsibilities -even if this comes with a monetary price we have to pay.