Dec 22, 2012 · 1 minute

[Original image courtesy Rich Kids of Instagram]

Freakout of the Week:

Early this week, Instagram changed its terms of service to include language that many found to be troubling: "You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Within 24 hours, Instagram had a full-fledged PR crisis on its hands. Users were pissed. Kim Kardashian Tweeted that it wasn't fair. Some even flocked to the old school photo-sharing site Flickr, making Flickr's parent company Yahoo! the unlikely beneficiary of Instagram's woes.

So Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom quickly backtracked, vowing that the company had no intention of selling our photos. But was it enough to shift public opinion back to Instagram's side? Did any of it even matter in the first place? The Verge's Bryan Bishop wrote that by reverting the terms of service Instagram arguably made them worse. Fast Company's Sarah Kessler made a cheat sheet to help make sense of terms of services for Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. And our Sarah Lacy wrote that the more uproars over terms of service we see, the less any of them matter.

Quote of the Week


[Original image courtesy Eva Blue]

Story of the Week

The story of a cat; (1878)

[Original image courtesy CircaSassy]

Usually, our most popular stories deeply analyze breaking news items, or they surface trends that have gone largely unreported elsewhere. But this week, our most-talked-about story was a series of simple yet elegant explanations of the technologies startups are using most right now. Whether you're a non-technical founder or an investor looking to become better-versed in the language of the Web, Danny Boice's "Startup technology demystified" is an essential piece of explanatory journalism.

Comment of the Week

This week, Michael Carney wrote about a new social events platform called GonnaBe. Apps like this designed to help users find cool things to do are nothing new, and although GonnaBe has a fresh take on social events, it very well could fail like many that came before it. But that doesn't mean it's not worth trying, as shown by this wonderful exchange in the comments section:

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The Funding GIF