For the past day, up until about an hour ago, Coco Rocha owned my Tumblr dashboard. By that, I mean she'd paid for a "Pinned Post" (one of Tumblr's ad products) which hovered at the very top of my screen, putting her words in my face every time I clicked over to the social network.
What was so urgent that Coco needed to monopolize the whole of my Tumblr attention span? The new Instagram terms of service, naturally, which have provoked a level of outrage that makes me really concerned about America's collective blood pressure.
The offending clause in Instagram's new terms of service:
“Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, 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. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.”
The reactions to this were, I think, overly dramatic. Melodramatic. Histrionic. Way too much.
A post on Mashable captures the general feeling: "Not only did you fail to see a red cent from the deal, but the whole experience of taking and sharing the pic seems somehow soiled."
The tech site was so proud of this sentence, they even used it as a pull quote. If you're expecting to find authentic experience and some kind of sense of transcendence on an iPhone picture sharing site owned by Facebook, a multinational Internet corporation, you and these new terms of service deserve each other.
Social sites want you to spend as much time as possible on them, not because they like you and want to make your life better, but because they hope to monetize both your eyeball attention and the information you give to them, because they need money in order to keep existing. You can't expect these companies to not try and profit from you, all you can do is either 1) choose not to use them or 2) be extremely careful about what you post on them.
Earlier today, Instagram issued an apology and backed away from the new policy. I think that's all thanks to Coco Rocha's Pinned Post. I'm glad my Tumblr irritation was not for naught.
This is probably a good time to let you know that we'll be beefing up our Instagram activity in the coming weeks, so you should give us a follow.
And if you aren't following the TFS Tumblr — come on, get it together already!