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Instagram Policy a Publicity Stunt?

December 20, 2012


On Tuesday the popular photo sharing site, Instagram, announced that they would add new language to their intellectual property policy which states that they own all photos that are on Instagram, and can use them “without payment or notification”. Now, as Americans, we don’t like people messing with what we perceive to be our property, which meant there was an immediate and far reaching backlash against the site, along with demands to revoke the new policy, or face a serious loss in users.

And, what do you know, 1 day later the policy was revoked. Most observers would look at this situation and think, “now why would Instagram have ever announced this change to their intellectual property policy, when clearly there was going to be negative backlash?”. Surely the people that work at Instagram aren’t that stupid, are they? I would submit just the opposite.

There is an old saying that any publicity is good publicity, and no one can argue that this tiny little announcement produced plenty of it. Not only was the story trending on Twitter and other social media sites  it was covered by dozens of national media syndicates, and it was on the forefront of our collective national conscious for nearly 48 hours.

So, was this really just a dumb decision that Instagram immediately went back on as soon as they felt the heat? Or was this a very intentional publicity stunt which accomplished it’s goals, and then some. You be the judge.

Written by  the marketing team at Slate Tech Group, a Denver IT Support Firm.


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