But the picture for marketers should seem a little less hazy, as the facts remain:
Consumers are still using Instagram, perhaps not daily, but enough to count. In August 2012, Instagram outnumbered Twitter in its number of daily mobile users, and all marketers know, mobile is not just the wave of the future, it’s the wave of the present.
Part of the app’s new TOS allows for easier sharing between Instagram and Facebook, which, let’s be honest, is so big and relevant it’s hard to remember life before it existed (for brands and consumers alike).
We all need to recognize that privacy and social media do not go hand in hand. If we can take only one thing away from this it’s that if you’re not paying for a service, then it’s not private. End of story.
This last point matters much more to consumers than to brands, since the former is often navigating the fine line between engaging and over-sharing, while the latter can and should take advantage of every relevant avenue of communication made available. Marketers are always challenged to be honest and trustworthy, and this is true now more so than ever. If anything, Instagram’s new TOS (explained helpfully here in plain English) proves how little most social media users care about these things. While a slew of blog posts last week encouraged current Instagram users to make their profiles private to avoid future confusion, Instagram’s terms clearly state that a user’s profile and its content can be edited or deleted at any time and that no user’s content is confidential. While this kind of transparency can rub some consumers the wrong way, it’s also what all brands – Instagram included – should strive for in our convoluted landscape.