In just two years, Instagram has exploded in terms of users, adoption and notoriety. As of May, the network had over 50 million users and over one billion photos had been uploaded. And the growth of those two numbers are astounding. Every second, there are 58 new photos uploaded and at least one new user.

I have been using Instagram for nearly two years now. I have uploaded 398 photos and have 336 followers. I have received over 1,700 total likes and just shy of 400 comments. And I'm just moments away from deleting my account. Forever.


Yesterday, the social network updated its terms of service and the Web went nuts. As a matter of fact, it is still going nuts. Hundreds of stories detailing the new, seemingly controversial terms have surfaced and Instagram users across the Web are up in arms.

But what are the controversial changes to the terms and conditions? The most contentious changes are under the first two entries in the Rights section. They read as follows:

"1.    Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service's Privacy Policy, available here:http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.

2.    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."

For one, Instagram now reserves the right to share information seamlessly between Facebook to learn more about users and to deliver more targeted ads at said users. And, in essence, Instagram now reserves the right to sell your photos and account information for advertising revenue, meaning your face, Instagram username and other account information are free game for advertisements.

Say you visited a venue or a hotel. Pictures taken while you were at that specific location would be prime advertising material for those businesses and venues. They could purchase a license to your photos from Instagram – without your knowledge – for use in ads.

However, nothing about these new terms truly bother me.

It's no secret Facebook wanted to monetize Instagram. Otherwise, I doubt it would have bought the startup for a cool one billion dollars. Facebook makes its money through advertising and it should come as no surprise that Instagram would take a similar route. Anyone surprised by the change clearly doesn't understand how the free Internet works or how social media makes its buck.

I'm not exactly thrilled about the changes. I take some pictures that I would rather not be shared without my knowledge or sold without some incentive or compensation to me, the creator of those images. But the changes are not enough to drive me away from the social network altogether. I would simply not share those particular photos to Instagram.

I made the decision to leave Instagram a few days ago – the 15th, to be exact – when I posted a picture from a bar I was at with some friends. What drove me away is the network itself, the atmosphere and the core reason it exists. For anyone unaware, that core purpose is to share photos with friends, and potentially strangers with common interests via tags.

For me, though, Instagram has only served a single purpose: to share pictures with my existing friends on Twitter and Facebook. The problem is, Instagram itself is a poor vehicle for sharing photos if you care about interaction or picture quality.

I'm a stickler for high-quality images, yet at least 90 percent of everything I have ever viewed on Instagram is terrible. There were a few photographers I follow that regularly post quality content. But the images are scaled down and cropped to a maximum size of 612 by 612 pixels. Throw a filter on top of that and possibly faux tilt-shift and a frame, and you have an over-processed piece of garbage.

I almost entirely quit using filters in March in favor of a much better post-processing app called Snapseed. And, for me, it was then that Instagram lost what little value it had. Other than a few likes, my photos on Instagram get little engagement. A few comments and maybe 20 likes, at best. But I also share those pictures to other networks, like Twitter and Facebook, where the very same pictures get all sorts of comments, likes and tons of interaction from friends and followers.

Instagram was sort of fun while it lasted. But this morning, I created a new recipe on IFTTT.com, where any picture I upload to Facebook is immediately posted to Twitter, which will work quite well since I always share everything to Twitter and only select photos to Facebook. Once I download a backup of all my Instagram pictures, I'm going to disable my Instagram account and never look back.

I will do all my photo sharing via Twitter and Facebook, where full-res pictures are more than welcome. And, who knows, maybe I'll get around to giving Google+ some more attention now. But I'm done with cropped, scaled-down, terribly filtered photos.

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66 Reactions to this post

"Are you going to quit Instagram?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Lenn Liggins
Lenn Liggins Don't have to, I'm with Windows phones and we are not privileged to have Instagram. Could careless.
Neil Conafray
Neil Conafray Hey Arvind if you actually opened your half-shut eyes you'd probably find some damned great pics. How about you think and engage your brain before you open your mouth. The main reason I'm thinking about quitting Instagram is the pathetic new cropping enforcement and every other noob and fashionista on there that wants to spam or just show pics of fashion or nails or shoes. Really, how have we ended up with so MANY weak sheeple around ?!?!?!?
Joe Yarger
Joe Yarger Deleted it a month ago to make room for,.oh wait, I didn't need the room. The app just sucked lol
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel Never used it.
Michael Foresto
Michael Foresto I already have. I don't take many pictures, but it is all about the principle behind what they are doing...
Amie Lee Greenway
Amie Lee Greenway No I don't care what they do with my pics.
Donnie Ross Oneill
JerryandAudrey Smith
JerryandAudrey Smith Never used it
Filip Witkowski
Filip Witkowski I agree with your point of view there. Instagram is not for photographers. It's for quick sharing photos taken on the phone to say, "look, I've been here" or something like this. I always liked good photography and I'm trying to be good photographer one day. If you take your time, shoot 300 pictures to choose 10 (or less) from them, spend another few hours correcting them in PS, you don't want them to be cropped to 612x612 and shared with tons of bad pictures.
Juwon Donte
Juwon Donte Nope still using it..people really worried about their pictures being bought.. Lol half the pictures people post aren't even worth buying Lol
Thomas Boehnlein
Thomas Boehnlein I signed up for it when it came to Android. I've used it 4 times maybe. I suppose it would help if I hung out with more 12 year old girls.
Brian Edson
Brian Edson i never understood instagram. manufacturers like htc, apple, samsung, and motorola have been working so hard on putting quality cameras on their devices, then hipsters and middle schoolers blur hem in instagram just to make them seem "artsy". its not artsy to add one photo effect.
Wood Franklin
Wood Franklin I never used it :)
Jeff Cross
Jeff Cross Deleted all my pics but can't see where to close account??
Miguel Bleau
Miguel Bleau Already have
Javier Sanchez Ojeda
Javier Sanchez Ojeda Quit
Kenneth Bernales
Kenneth Bernales yes.. because it only have one type of ratio.. and that's not my type
Richard Logan
Richard Logan Yep deleted it but never used it anyway. Just gave me the motivation to cancel it.
William Plotner
William Plotner Instagram is pointless.
Matt Pankey
Matt Pankey No. My pics of my pets aren't going to sell anything.
Chris San Filippo
Chris San Filippo jk haha
Chris San Filippo
Chris San Filippo I'm signing up to buy all your peoples pics
Fabio Pontes
Fabio Pontes Deleted my account yesterday.. let's hope they don't try and do the same with facebook
Miguel Placencia
Miguel Placencia what is someone gonna do with millions and millions of pica of invisible handjobs and stuck up cunts duck facing !?!?!?!??
Randy Walker Sr.
Randy Walker Sr. Already deleted my account. Didn't really use it though in the first place. Had like two photos on it.
Vicente Reyes
Vicente Reyes Another guy from instagram said that they would change it down the line, behind peoples backs.
Marlon Fuentes
Marlon Fuentes I'm glad I never got it. I knew something was fishy with that billion dollar investment.
Arvind Katiyar
Arvind Katiyar Wonder why everyone thinks their pics are worth a fortune,most of the pics are junk,someone quiet stupid would buy junk
Arvind Katiyar
Arvind Katiyar No my pic wont sell
Jesse Juarez
Jesse Juarez yep,streamzoo is better :)
Ben Conover
Ben Conover I only have one so I can see other people's pictures, never posted a picture.
John C. Cole
John C. Cole Never joined
Michael Detwiler
Michael Detwiler Grow up people.
Jason OnlyOne
Jason OnlyOne Quit long ago
Jose Be Julme
Jose Be Julme No. I rarely use mine for pertinent stuff.
Brady Wassam
Brady Wassam Quit *
Chris Grillo
Chris Grillo Me too, time to get out!
Brady Wassam
Brady Wassam I already quote months ago
Jimmy Allen
Jimmy Allen Quit I never started I don't jump on the pointless s*** bandwagon like everyone else
T Louis Michael
T Louis Michael I never heard of Instagram.
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras Yes streamzoo... Mimstyle
Ehrick Anton
Ehrick Anton Nop!
Felix Tran
Felix Tran I only post pics of my food...anyone can take them, I don't care lol
Erik Rosli
Erik Rosli Never had it installed and not planning to.
Anthony V Cannata
Anthony V Cannata They said they were going to change there policy
Al Le
Al Le luckily, I never upload any photo using Instagram! I have the sit n wait approach...it took me 5-6 yrs b4 i join FB!!! LOL
James Norwood
James Norwood I've never used it.
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz i upload 1 photo , i dont like instangram ,
Paul Warner
Paul Warner Never used it.
Leon Digidude Lionheart
Leon Digidude Lionheart Never started it, Only made an account to show people how to delete their accounts.
Kelly Flores
Kelly Flores Yes, I'm quitting.
Dalton Davis
Dalton Davis Instagram is kinda just ... Stupid !
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis No.. most of my pictures are of random things & places you can find by googling..
Steve Bachman
Steve Bachman Can't quit it, never had it! B)
Fonzy Paniagua
Fonzy Paniagua Why would you leave? This article is pointless.
Mark Carruthers
Mark Carruthers already did. Did not care about it anyway
Lior Avidov
Lior Avidov Never had IG.
Justin Boren
Justin Boren where would i post my food !? NO I'M STAYING WITH INSTA
George Millhouse
George Millhouse who cares? just a bunch of people posting pics of their bacon
David Otero
David Otero I did a long time ago!
Darren Penix
Darren Penix Nope
Dustin Hansbrough
Dustin Hansbrough I never installed it.
Nain El Fuego Romero
Nain El Fuego Romero Why would i
Stephen Victor
Stephen Victor i did
Nancy Brandes
Nancy Brandes already did
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa I might give it a second change. Let see how it goes not sure at the moment.

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