Instagram's future revenue model should look to iStockPhoto for ideas

December 22, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I don't care a lot for copyrights and am flattered when my photos are shared by others.  A photo's circulation only enhances the brand and stature of the artist.  I would imagine a lot of people feel the same way about their casual shots taken through mobile phone cameras! Then why the storm over Instagram's attempt to monetize the photo-sharing through ad sales? 


The problem: Instagram ignored and left out its main constituents -- the photographers -- from its revenue model.  This flies in the face of the on-going democratization of photography, videography and book publishing where everyone is a pro artist, documentary film maker and author thanks to cheap self-publishing tools. 


A better model would be a more democratized and less snobbish iStockPhoto-like service where the royalty from the commercial usage of photos find its way back to the original community user. 


I may not care too much about copyrights but I don't want people stealing my photos for free either, speically if they are making money from it! 


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