I’m not a current Instagram user though I have been following all the chatter on twitter. The part I find a little interesting (well summarized in the XKCD comic above) is when you are using a service provided by someone else and they are bearing the cost of operating that service, they really can do whatever they want. You may not like or want that service and you may choose not to use it, but I don’t completely understand the outrage.
This opinion piece from CNN sums it up,
What irks us, of course, is the sense that we’ve been betrayed. Instagram felt a little alternative, authentically bottom-up. It’s a tiny piece of software, and if they had figured out a way for us to store our photos locally or to pay a small charge for server space exceeding some amount (as Flickr does), it could have stayed a rather noncommercial affair.
Moreover, Instagram’s community, perhaps rightly, feels as though it was responsible for its own formation. Even though this community formed around a piece of commercial software, the relationships within it are real and the result of a significant investment of time and energy and trust. Now that those relationships have turned out to be commodities, many people feel exposed and cheated. No longer the users, but the used.
Sorry, but — in a word — tough. This is the way of the Internet: pay or, well, pay. Just as Facebook’s users must come to grips with the fact that they can longer reach all their friends with an update unless they pay for “promotion,” Instagram’s users must reconcile themselves to the fact that their photographic creations are now grist for some advertiser’s mill.
I started using Pinboard for site bookmarking instead of Delicious. It feels really good to pay a nominal amount of money for a service that is useful, I consume, and that provides value. While there are no guarantees, I figure it has a better chance of lasting longer and not being hosed up or abandoned like Delicious (given it’s history).