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Instagram Will Start Having Ads, Obviously

We all remember the Great Instagram Freak-out of 2012 in which the breakfast picture powerhouse slipped something into its Terms of Agreements about selling the photos you upload. The community lost their marbles, and Instagram was forced to re-work their wording (if not entirely change its meaning.) And now, since Facebook’s getting anxious for a return on their billion dollar investment, Instagram’s announced that you can start expecting to see ads pop up in your feed. Or, to use their words, “We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.”

Look, it’s understandable. Social media isn’t so different from regular media, and both places need to make money to keep the lights on. That’s no mean feat when your product doesn’t cost a dime so, sooner or later, Instagram is either going to have to charge you to use it or charge someone else to advertise. It all goes to show something that Metafilter user blue_beetle once wrote, in what is undoubtedly the world’s only famous Internet comment: “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer. You’re the product being sold” …

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