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Why Marketers Should Stick With Instagram.

vertical marketing network instagram

Instagram’s updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which went into effect last Saturday, are still a hot topic among techies and consumers addled by fears of online privacy invasion. And frankly, they’re not as bad as most originally thought; when the company announced in mid-December that it would be adopting new service terms that included an advertising policy (since its launch in October 2010, the photo-sharing app has been ad free), users took to Twitter and Instagram’s parent company Facebook to bemoan the changes, largely due to a misunderstanding that the new terms would allow Instagram to sell user-snapped photos to outside companies for use and for zero dollars to the user. We recently noted that policy was quickly clarified and has reverted to something users are more comfortable with. But are they? Last week, reports revealed that since the December debacle Instagram’s daily active user numbers have dropped by some 42 percent. To make matters more confusing, Instagram responded to that claim by announcing last Thursday its monthly active users have topped 90 million, a 10 percent increase from December 2012. This snapshot is far from crystal clear.

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.

Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
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About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

2 comments on “Why Marketers Should Stick With Instagram.

  1. Pingback: Spring Clean Your Marketing Routine – 3 Easy Steps! | Blogging Out Loud

  2. Pingback: Should Brands Jump on Mobile Marketing Before Their Competitors? « Blogging Out Loud

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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