Instagram: Let the Hunger Games Begin

In this week’s edition of Imaginary Interview I speak with the ever-changing, fascinating, one and only Instagram about its new terms of service. For the purposes of this interview, brands look and talk just like people. Instagram is wearing a stunning mocking-jay dress bursting into snazzy orange flames, as she spins and flirts with yours truly, styled in Lo-Fi.

Me: Hello Instagram, and welcome to my Imaginary Interview show. You have been changing your colours and updating your filters ever since we first met, and your latest Terms of Service announcement made Facebook’s own TOS look tame in comparison. Of course, Facebook owns you now, legally speaking.

Instagram: Allow me to explain. With Instagram, we finally did what Facebook wishes it could do with Facebook’s own terms of use. Your photos, updates and information are public by default, like one giant marketplace of content, available for advertisers to use and re-use.  Instagram is the future of Facebook, its second real iteration if you will.  It’s the new order of social networks, which speak to the realities of the world we now live in.

Me: What is this new world exactly? How do you see it shaping up? 

Instagram: We must recognize that information wants to be free. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg admitted publicly that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December 2009.

***Instagram is the new. ***Instagram is the next. ***Instagram is the us*** flash across our studio monitors. Reactions from all over the world are pouring in.

Instagram: Our world is moving fast – we moved from Moby Dick to Newspapers to blog posts to Facebook status updates to Twitter’s famous 140 characters in what seems like a blink of an eye. Today, we are trading our tweets for images.  It’s faster to snap a photo and let our phones make it art. Photos are worth a thousand words; they are often better than words. Images simplify our world even further, giving us even more efficient means of passing and sharing information.

Me: Are you worried people would feel a harsh breakup coming on between you and your users, because your new terms make you look like a jerk?

Instagram: Wake up, world! The future is here and now. We will all star in ads and not even know it. We will not be able to tell an ad from a friend’s status update or a family photo. Our images will be sold to companies to promote whatever it is they promote – don’t be surprised to see your own face promoting anti-aging creams for your own use; it’s the future of advertising anyway. You would probably be able to track your face somewhat, though, kind of like Starbucks tracking where its logo appears now. Remember we did this once before with human billboards?  Instagram is human billboards 2.0, except in these ads, we are the content – art, ads, and all – that we consume.

Just watch us how we change the world – again. If not, feel free to break-up with Instagram. Honestly though? Too late. You know you love us too much now. Also, opting-out is not an option.

Instagram departs in silence, in one swift flash. As we dim the lights, and say the final good-bye to all the thousands pics of clouds flying through the ether in an endless loop. We are saying our goodbyes to the world we thought we knew. Turns out, we had no idea.


Are you, Instagram? Are you, really.

One thought on “Instagram: Let the Hunger Games Begin

  1. For me, the biggest mistake that Instagram made here was reminding me how little I actually _need_ the service any more. Instagram started as a cool service for for its ability to apply cool filters to your photos and share them easily in a single stream. Despite this, however, it was still yet-another-social network to deal with, and I’m sure many just used it as a layer atop Twitter and Facebook for the cool filters it provided. Of course, now everybody else is in the filters game, and Instagram far seems less relevant.

    Of course, having signed up, I was still keeping it around largely because there was no reason not to. However, the policy change last week made me re-evaluate that decision, and I ended up closing my Instagram account not simply because of the terms of service change, but simply because it made me realize that I didn’t really need it anyway.

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