Saturday, March 24th, 2018

W WebWorks by Terry Young
Sharing Photos Online


Be careful what you agree to!

Almost everybody has a social media account, usually on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Every day, people post literally millions of their own photographs without a second thought. 

Although this can happen on any social media, it is especially common on Instagram.
This is because people hashtag their photos.  As such, these photos can then come to the attention of companies who express a wish to repost them.

Most people will think that this is not a problem.

If the person is a budding photographer, they are flattered that this company, a large corporation, would want to repost their work on Instagram.

However, the request can be accompanied by a terms or disclaimer URL, which cannot be clicked because it lacks the http:// or https:// prefix.  

This means that the user has to, in the app on their phone, somehow transfer this URL to a browser if they want to see what it says. 

The Instagram phone app doesn't let you select to comment and copy the text, so you have to switch between Instagram and the browser, and type the URL by hand.

Take the time to read the fine print or you could be agreeing to
much more than just sharing your photo on Instagram.

Obviously for a general user, this is a lot of trouble to go through, and they are excited that this big company wants to show their work on Instagram. They happily give permission.

Anyone who is able to visit the Terms URL is greeted by a legal disclaimer. Generally, these state that the company has the right to use your photo promotionally, worldwide in any way it sees fit; online advertising, in brochures, in videos, in any format, even those that are not yet developed.

In other words, you are agreeing to much more than just them sharing your photo on Instagram.

The bottom line is that these large companies want to use your photo in printed materials, or added to a video, or to their online presence and other future advertising. However, they do not offer any money, or even a photo credit to you, the person who took the photo that they love so much.

As a photographer myself, I have experienced this exact situation on Instagram.  There is no mention of any fee, or even a photo credit.

I always reply that they can purchase the photograph directly from me if they like, or send them to my portfolio on subscription stock photo sites if it's online.

Do you have concerns about how your web site is performing? Unlike WordPress and other free open source sites, WebUpdate offers advanced SEO, security, social, and responsive features. Give your business the best competitive edge online.

Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design, the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.