Why I left Instagram

After my last blog post, ‘Why I loved Instagram‘, I thought I’d explain why I have deleted my account yesterday.  There has been a lot of discussion about it everywhere on the Internet, but it seems most people stare themselves blind against the Terms & Conditions changes.  My reasons are perhaps only my own, but I will try to explain here for those who may have used it for the same reasons.

Goodbye InstagramThe reasons I will no longer be posting to Instagram:

  1. No ‘Preview on Twitter’
    In December 2012 Instagram (who was by now owned by Facebook) stopped supporting Twitter previews of Instagram photos, and while users can still post links to their Instagram photos on Twitter, they are no longer able to view Instagram photos from within the Twitter stream across both the Twitter Web site and mobile apps. Twitter is my main social media platform and it is really important to me that my followers can see previews of photos so they can choose if they want to click on it to see it on the Instagram site.  Now, a post from Instagram to Twitter will show the text and a cryptic link to Instagram, which gets a lot less engagement from Twitter users.  Previously, my Instagram photos got a lot of attention from my Twitter followers, but no more… I don’t blame them as I now find myself skipping over Instagram links in my Twitter timeline, rather than opening a website just to see a pic I may have no interest in.
  2. No ‘Find my Twitter Friends’
    Twitter cut off the ‘Find my Twitter friends’ functionality in Instagram, so I am no longer able to see who of my Twitter friends joined Instagram.
  3. Spamming
    While hashtags and comments are listed above as reasons why I loved Instagram, it has now become one of the reasons I am leaving Instagram.  Spammers who claim to know how you can get 1000s of followers on Instagram, are posting adverts as photos, hashtagging it with the most popular hashtags, and therefore rendering this useful and fun feature utterly useless.  When this started happening Instagram users religiously blocked these users but they just registered as different users and were back within minutes.  These same spammers also started commenting on photos, with links (mentions) of their user names where you can get 1000s of followers, so Instagrammers stopped reading comments.  This used to be a fun feature where Instagram users could chat and ask each other questions or make comments on photos, but this feature has quickly lost its appeal to me.
  4. Image dimensions, quality & square pics
    I do understand it from Instagram’s point, but the physical size of Instagram pictures, at 612×612 pixels, are just not good enough any more.  Other similar apps (which I will soon review on this blog) have twice the dimensions both posted and local, and I can even post pics in various different ratios… Instagram pics are always square.
  5. Better alternatives
    Twitter has dramatically enhanced its own picture posting features, complete with cropping tool, filters and enhancement tool, so I will most likely be using this for event photos and pics that I don’t want to share to Facebook.  Another alternative is Tadaa.net where the photo editing features are mind-blowingly awesome, although the community and tagging still has a way to go… watch this space for reviews!

There you have it.  Nowhere did I mention the terms & conditions Instagram changed and backtracked on, although for most people it is what started the Instagram exodus in the first place.  I am not a professional photographer, and I am aware that posting pics online will most likely get a few used elsewhere.  This does not bother me – I see it as a compliment if someone goes through the trouble of stealing my Instagram photos! I’d have gladly given it to them if they asked. :-)