19 Jun

No, You Don't Own Instagram Or Any Other Social Media Network

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No, You Don't Own Instagram Or Any Other Social Media Network Seek Social Media

Today I was on an article in Fast Company about Instagram and how it is a part of Facebook.  The article points out how Facebook has not taken over Instagram and told the founders how to run it like they have in the past with other acquisitions.  In the article  the founder of Instagram points out that he is going to keep forming Instagram into what he wants it to become.


A comment on the article stated that: Shouldn’t Instagram become what the users want it to become.  I couldn’t disagree more with this comment because despite what the users think we don’t OWN any of the social media networks.  Shareholders own these businesses and what and where they choose to become or go is up to them, NOT US.


We have made a conscious choice to post our ideas, thoughts, pictures, and lots of personal information onto these sites but in the end we don’t own them despite what many think.  Don’t agree with me?  Why then does it seem that when a policy change occurs on any of these platforms people start socially rioting?  They pick up their placards and start virtually marching in front of the corporate offices.


Let me break it to you as gently as I can:  YOU DON’T OWN FACEBOOK OR TWITTER OR INSTAGRAM, ETC.  You have decided that you want to share your picture of your Starbuck’s latte with the world but that doesn’t mean that you can tell Mark Zuckerberg or any other founder of a social network how to run their business.  They are going to make decisions that benefit the business and their bottom line and you may or may not agree with them but does that make it any different from any other business?


One example I use is McDonald’s.  In today’s world people seem to be more cognizant of where their food comes from as well as what is actually in their food.  What does McDonald’s do with that information?  They put a salad or two on the menu along with some apples for kids, which oh by the way come with caramel so that the kids eat the sugar and want to keep coming back for more.  What they aren’t doing is putting tofu on the menu.  What they aren’t doing is having a quinoa burger become a fixture on their menu.  They are doing what is best for them and that is serving the masses what they have been consuming for years and they aren’t going to change.


If Instagram want to sell hashtags to brands to help build revenue then that is what they are going to do despite your opinion that selling those keywords is all wrong and is removing some sort of function from the platform.  Maybe Instagram chooses to limit the number of pictures per hour from the brand but that will not stop a brand from having their employees take pictures and post them to that particular hashtag to generate brand awareness and engagement.


I hate to burst your bubble but unless you are a member of the Board of Directors when Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus decides to make a change you will either go along with it or you will have to stop using the platform.  Those are your choices and it is your right to exercise those choices.  Unfortunately one of those choices is not to change the platform to what you want it to become.  That decision has already been made: by the shareholders.

Jason Bahamundi

Jason Bahamundi is a marketing specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas.  An MBA graduate from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY with a BS in Marketing from SUNY-Oswego Jason started his career in marketing in the television industry creating marketing plans for Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, Clorox, Kraft and Darden Restaurants to name a few.

Jason is not only a marketing professional, but also an Ironman triathlete, which is to say that he knows no limits.  Being able to be creative on the fly is one of his assests and has benefited him and his clients along the way.

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