Instagram: Time to Play the Instablame Game!

You probably think this post is going to bash the new Instagram terms of use that would have went into effect on January, 16th… But no, I’m going to be bashing you and everyone else that hopped on the Instarevolt bandwagon a couple weeks ago.  Seriously, how can people who didn’t even read the original terms they signed up for be complaining when they don’t really know what actually changed?

Instagram Changed Their Terms

Come on People!


After learning about the class action lawsuit filed against Instagram regarding the change, I nearly blew a gasket!  I know we’re a lawsuit happy society but come on, how do you file a case for something that hadn’t yet or may not even happen?  Damages? Really, what damages? Please.  I wonder if someone plans on taking legal action against the Mayans because the world didn’t end.  That’s about how absurd I think this is.

The Instagram backlash was unlike anything I’ve ever seen; especially considering the updated terms ACTUALLY LIMIT WHAT IG can do with your photos, as opposed to the existing terms.  Oh wait, you probably didn’t realize that because you were too busy piling on the bandwagon.  IG users seem to have kicked the picturehorse in the mouth when you get down to the nitty gritty.  I’ll do my best to break down the difference between the existing/revised terms verse the rejected new terms.  There’s plenty of Instablame to go around, IG included, but once you compare the terminology, you’ll see the Occupy Instagram movement wasn’t a victory at all.


Reality of Old vs Proposed


Granted I’m not an attorney, I only play one on this blog, but everyone who’d been using Instagram since 2010 has been subject to these terms as follows (from Docracy):

Instagram Terms

All we’ve done is extended IG’s authorization to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate our photos.

Call me crazy, but next time, you should READ THE TERMS OF USE BEFORE you sign up for a service so you:

A.) Understand your rights

B.) Aren’t one of the stupid or the blind who add fuel to a fire that shouldn’t have been burning as fiercely in the first place.

While the rejected new terms were poorly written and easily misinterpreted, they CLEARLY limited what could be done with your content.


Don’t Worry, your Instagrams won’t be on a billboard


I can appreciate the stance of people who deleted their accounts out of principle.  Some people simply don’t want to risk their family photos or selfies being associated with advertisements.  Others are simply flattering themselves when they drop out because their stuff is so good advertisers will be lining up to steal their photos.  Though the question still begs, what were you doing on IG in the first place??? The risk has ALWAYS been there! Look, I have over 85,000 followers and hundreds of people tell me every day “how great” my photos are.  You don’t see me jumping ship.

The real reason you don’t need to worry comes down to one main factor – the picture quality.  I mean, have you ever seen an IG picture on a big monitor?  Only the best look palatable and the average looks downright dreadful.  That’s no offense to you; mine suck, as well, comparatively speaking.  DISCLAIMER: If they start uploading a full-resolution copy, I may make like Systrom and quickly backtrack J

And really, so what if an advertiser pays to have your post promoted (ie FB facebook sponsored post but on IG popular page); isn’t that a compliment?  I love it when Pure Michigan shares my content on their various social media channels.  Although, a key difference is they ask me prior to doing it.  It’s understandable why some people simply don’t want to risk having their photo used behind their back.  They shouldn’t have been on Instagram in the first place if it bothered them that much because it happens to ALL photographers on ALL platforms.


Facestagram needs to get a clue


Don’t worry, I’m going after everyone.  Instagram isn’t without blame and neither is Big Brotherbook. The manner in which they introduced their new terms was shady and the verbiage was easily interpreted as “we’re going to sell your photos to advertisers and there’s nothing you can do about it.”  From a PR standpoint, it was either idiotic or it was some ill-planned covert tactic to test us.  How did they not know there would be a reaction like this?  Does Facestagram even know its users?  When you get down to it, and the main reason I’m sticking around, is there’s no audience quite like the one you’ll find on Instagram.  We don’t want to be sold, but we will be supportive.  It’s an interesting dichotomy, to say the least.

Let’s remember, though, Instagram is now FB’s puppet for better or worse.  Facebook has a similar set of terms that everyone manages to deal with, though, so I’m not entirely sure why this was so blown out of proportion.  Aside from content privacy bit, the biggest laugher was regarding the age of its users.  “Sure, I (a 15 year old girl) have my parents agreement to your provision” said no one, ever.   They really do need to get a clue so a disruption like this will never have to be endured again.


You’ll also love >>> Instagram: How to Become Instafamous

I hope you enjoyed the piece.  Comments are welcomed and shares are appreciated. 

Tony Bennett is a passionate photographer, future Senator, and Instafamous Instagram Superhero.  Above all Tony is great guy and would be happy to answer all your Instagram questions below.

Instagram: How to Become Instafamous


In September 2012 Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram.  The deal was reported to be worth an estimated 1 Billion in cash and stock.

First things first, decide if Instagram is right for you. Odds are, you’re reading this because you either use IG already and want to grow your presence, or you’re still sitting on the fence and deciding whether to try it.  I’ll discuss several foundations of Instagram and show you some steps on how to become instagram famous and how to become instafamous all in one article.

Three Questions to ask to see if you’ll enjoy Instagram

1) Do you like to take pictures?

2) Do you consider yourself creative and artistic?

3) Do you want to expand your network and create loyal connections?

Assuming you answered yes to one of them, the debate is over… keep reading because the people already on Instagram are wondering why it’s taking so long to get to the good stuff.


Instagram Stats Board





I joined Instagram back in April of this year, when it first became available on Android devices.  In the 7 months since my debut, I’ve built a fanbase of over 60K followers (updated 4/16/2013; over 100K followers) who’ve collectively blown me away with their engagement. It’s safe to say, after earning 1.25 million likes and 36000+ comments, I’ve achieved a certain level Instafame. Now it’s time to map my success and pass on a few directions how you, too, can become Instafamous.


I know, I know, it was a bait and switch; I asked you if you liked to take pictures and you said yes, WTH!! That’s just the thing, though, anyone CAN take picture. Of course it helps to take a “better” picture, but the #1 concept I learned about photography is it’s all about the finish. Anyone can take a picture and upload it to Instagram; you need to set yourself apart. Here’s the deal – skip your latte and invest in a “pro” photo editing app.

Being a droid user, I can recommend a combination of PicSay Pro and the PicsPlay Pro to meet your editing needs.

A fellow IGer (instagrammer), Christine Kramer-Skulevold, has a few recommendations for iPhone users. She employs a suite of Photoforge2, Colorsplash, and Snapseed to enhance the experience.

Here’s a quick look at what a creative eye and technology can produce with some of before and after shots!


Simple Edits



Advanced Edits

This is a good segway – when you’re doing advance edits, don’t try to pass it off as an original. Some people’s feathers get in a bunch when you don’t disclose it as an edit.

Another “controversial” topic is the use of cameras outside of your phone. Some people are hardcore, iPhone only, purists that shun other IGer’s who post pics shot with a digital or DSLR camera. Well, I use a DroidX and Canon point and shoot… so the purists might not like me. It’s a 60% phone / 40% Canon ratio for my posts and, frankly, I don’t care what the aristocrats think.



Ok, let’s get it out of the way – I’ll tell you the “Big Secret” everyone wants to know. How do I do it… get so many likes… have so many followers… comments? It started with hard work and then became a helluva lot easier as I reached the popular page. So there it is, getting on the popular page will make you Instafamous. The End.

Just kidding, sort-of, but here’s the kicker. You’ll need more than a bunch of people following you to climb the charts. You want fans, not followers. Fans are the ones who actively view their Instagram feeds and engage with you on a regular basis. As your base grows, use tools like Statigram to keep tabs on your most engaging fans and monitor your progress. The chart below, along with the first infographic above, were both generated with

Run to a Million

Run to a Million


This part isn’t as hard as it seems, but takes time. You’re going to need thousands of fans before you make it to the popular page; which means more people need to know of your existence on Instagram. There are three main ways to accomplish this: follow someone, like their post, comment on posts. The first two are the quickest way to introduce yourself. If you want further detail on follow/like strategies, comment with your interest at the end of this post.

My Bieber Moment

My Bieber Moment

Most of the things we talked about fall under one umbrella – setting yourself apart from the other tens of millions IG users. I have one last tiny tip that will pay dividends immediately and probably will be the most impactful concept you take away from this. I’m assuming that you do (or will) respond to all your comments. Make sure you respond to all comments until you reach the popular page and can’t keep up with them all. The key here is to use your fans name in your reply to their comment. I’ve had over a hundred people respond by with something similar to “you’re the first person to ever called me by name here.”

Go ahead and ignore everything I said up until to the last two sentences. That’s the real secret – get to know your followers and make them into your fans.  Follow the information in this article and you’ll be on your way instagram fame.

Please share through one of the buttons below if you found this article on Instagram to be of value.  Thank You.

Tony Bennett is a passionate photographer, future Senator, and Instagram Superhero.  Above all Tony is great guy and would be happy to answer all your Instagram questions below.