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Is it Worth Investing Leisure Time into Facebook and Instagram?

April 1, 2013

What is Social Media?

Social Media is defined as a two-way communication channel over virtual communities and networks. The term social media is a broad term, ranging from online bookmarks to photo and video sharing. Any interaction between two parties (acknowledging a post or commenting on an article) is considered an interacting with social media. Two of the world’s largest social media websites are Facebook and Instagram. Both of these websites have millions of users that access their websites daily.

Legal Issues

Within the past two years, Facebook and Instagram have gone through some financial and legal issues. For instance, when Facebook had taken over Instagram, Facebook had promised them $300 million in cash and $700 million in Facebook stocks. After the deal was made, Facebook decided to go public, and stocks began to drop drastically, causing Instagram to lose almost $300 million worth of shares that Facebook gave to them. Although this matter does not affect the customer directly, it shows the financial instability between Facebook and Instagram within the past year. From an investor’s standpoint, they become uncertain whether or not it is worth funding the business. Especially when Facebook became a public trading company, it relies on other companies to invest into the business to further expand the company.

Instagram and its Photo Rights

In December 2012, Instagram declared to sell users photography without payment or notification. This had sparked a public outcry. The policy would take effect January 16, 2013, and Instagram would have the rights to use any photos that were posted on its site. Within a month, they lost half of its daily active users in a month. Decreasing drastically from 16.3 million to about 7.6 million, the users strongly expressed their opinions about the new change in policy. Using Instragram as an example for one of the largest social media websites in the world, they tried to implement new policies that will better the entire community. Although their policies try to better the company, it is difficult to please everybody. Especially when it doesn’t benefit the users, there will always be a huge uproar in those changes. Posted below is a podcast that discusses the changes on Instagram.

Facebook Terms of Service

With Facebook being such a popular site, it tried to verify all of its users for security purposes and to ensure that every Facebook account matched its respective owner. Due to updated terms of service and privacy policy, this security policy was put into effect. When a user logged into his or her account, they were prompted by a message asking for a government-issued photo ID that met certain criteria. After providing the required information, not all IDs were accepted, leading to more follow-up emails asking to provide more documentation such as their birth certificates. With new terms of service being added, this directly affects users, as not everyone will be satisfied with these new terms. In my opinion, I see Facebook as a media outlet to learn what my friends are doing. With the government-issued ID in effect, I would rather quit Facebook than upload personal information on the internet. I assume like many others, they would not want to give out personal information due to privacy issues.


Facebook and Instagram are two of the most used social media sites in the world. Although I enjoy using these websites, I don’t find them necessities to learn about what my friends are doing. With that being said, I have no problem deactivating my Facebook and Instagram accounts if needed. With these large websites going through changes in the past year, I’m less inclined to post constantly knowing that the terms of service and policies are constantly changing. Growing up with Facebook could almost be considered a norm, because a majority of students have Facebook or Instagram accounts. It has become another method of socializing with people. With technology constantly changing, it isn’t a big deal to switch to another social media website where students can post their opinions and ideas without our information being monitored.


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