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What Instagram Did for Flickr
By: Jessica Cherok
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Whether or not you were one of the people who ceremoniously quit Instagram in the wake of their Terms of Service faux pas, you probably considered, signed up, or returned to Flickr. After all, it is pretty easy to assume all of the bad press recently focused on Instagram probably led to some of the best press Flickr has seen in quite some time.

Unfortunately, Instagram had also just removed one previously held advantage over Flicker — instant photo sharing in Twitter. Now, instead of automatically showing an Instagram photo within a tweet, users are being redirected to Instagram’s own webpage. Admittedly, the same redirecting happens when clicking on a Flickr photo link in Twitter, but Flickr didn’t just alienate the majority of its users.

Regardless of any Terms of Service revisions and subsequent explanations, Instagram users remain leery. After all, Instagram’s parent company is Facebook, a company that has regularly made users leery. But by adding the extra step in photo sharing, and then scaring the dickens out of their users, Instagram leveled the playing field with a near-forgotten photo-sharing contender.     

Even better — at least for Flickr — it turns out that Flickr had just released its new mobile app, which has been widely reviewed as being sleek, user-friendly, and awesome. And, just in case you were wondering, their privacy policy is nothing like Instagram’s.

For one, you can control your sharing with each photo, not in an all-or-nothing public versus private account like with Instagram. Secondly, Flickr won’t sell your photos. Unless, of course, you want them to. Flickr partnered with Getty Images several years back in order to help its users, who wanted to sell their photos, get exposure they wanted while protecting their copyright.

To be fair, Instagram did come back to clarify its Terms of Service and assuage the fears of its users. Instagram is not going to rampantly profiteer off of your photos.

Though, even if you consider Instagram and Flickr’s Terms of Services to be even, there are a lot of things Flickr is just doing better. Beyond the privacy and security of your photos, Flickr features abilities like multi-photo uploading, easier tagging, and your photos don’t have to be so oppressively square.

Whether you have moved away from Instagram or not, Flickr is worth taking a look. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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