Blog 9

Michael Bazarevitsch

Whitney Lew James

Implicit Arguments

26 November 2019

Find four perspectives on or recent news reports about your chosen digital space. Summarize the perspectives/news items and include links. Make sure to connect what others are discussing about your website to your developing analysis of the digital space. Does this research reinforce your understanding of the digital space? How does this research change your perspective?

How “private” is your Instagram Account?

Even if you choose to keep your account private, on the surface it seems secure, but behind the scenes, your information is open to advertisers and other data collectors.

By reading these articles and viewing Instagram’s Privacy page, I have only confirmed my belief that there are users who are in danger of losing their information. Their information may be sold or given to advertisement companies looking to sell to specific audiences.

Instagram allows users to connect with each other through usernames and suggestions for friends. Another aspect of this is connecting your phone number. If your account is linked with your phone number, than anyone can find your account.

In addition to Instagram’s privacy, its parent company Facebook has also had some privacy issues recently. The owner and founder of the company had to recently pay fines for disrupting the privacy codes of Facebook and for putting individual users private information in danger of being stolen and used by other companies. This scheme was used to generate money for Facebook in attempt to put rival companies out of business. A problem with these large companies is that instead of dealing with fixing the problems, they get by with just paying a fine. This money rarely goes to the people who were involved.

“According to a Business Insider investigation, Instagram has been allowing a San Francisco-based marketing agency, HYP3R, to flout its rules and collect information from millions of users. That includes physical locations, stories, photos, and bios, which were used to create a database of user profiles. In fact, according to HYP3R itself, the marketing firm scrapes as many as one million posts a month” (Aten).

“HYP3R’s actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies. As a result, we’ve removed them from our platform. We’ve also made a product change that should help prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way,” the company told Business Insider through a spokesperson” (Aten).

Even if you have a private account, your username, bio, and profile picture is still open to the public.

“But when you have a public account on Instagram, you’re vulnerable to a lot more than just targeted ads. The app reveals when you’re online, what you’re “liking,” and if your phone contacts are linked, virtually anyone can find you. In October, The Atlantic addressed the rampant problem of harassment on the app, as enabled by Instagram’s easy set-up of anonymous accounts, like on Twitter” (Ocampo).

This article aims to show its audience how they can turn their Instagram account into a revenue account or a promotion account. A business Instagram account may be used to generate additional revenue and add sponsors. Instagram can be used as a platform to create and maintain a relationship with customers and other possible individuals.

“A photo ad is a sponsored post that appears on your target audience’s Instagram feed just as a normal post would. As the creator of the ad, you have to option of choosing between a landscape or portrait format, selecting your desired call to action and specifying the demographics and desired audience. Creating a sponsored photo ad is both beneficial and effective, as the post can’t be missed—it takes up your viewer’s entire screen, especially on a mobile device, and can be used to spread awareness about your brand and grow your digital space” (Zest).

“Overall, Instagram is a vital platform that you should consider for your business’ digital advertising initiatives, especially if your target audience is young, because it offers your viewers a chance to connect directly with you. Social media is often used to bridge the gap between company and community, and this aspect couldn’t be more relevant today—Instagram’s digital marketing features allow for your audience to follow you, comment on your ads and view your stories, aiding in the growth of authentic and interactive relationships that help better serve both you and your community” (Zest).

A question to consider would by why are Instagram users not receiving anything in return for allowing Instagram to make profits by selling their information to advertisement companies?

“Instagram advertising is method of paying to post sponsored content on the Instagram platform to reach a larger and more targeted audience. While there are many reasons a business or individual may decide to advertise, Instagram advertising is often utilized to grow brand exposure, website traffic, generate new leads, and move current leads down the funnel (and hopefully towards converting)” (Whitney).

Instagram privacy settings can be found through a quick internet search and is organizes information and commonly asked questions. It also discusses the possible options between private and public accounts.