FORTUNE -- Some Instagram users are in full-filtered panic mode today, after the digital photo-sharing company altered its terms of service. Basically, Instagram will allow sponsors to promote user content and associated data. So if you upload a photo of your Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders, don't be surprised to see it featured in the Instagram feed of Guy Fieri's American Kitchen & Bar.
As Nilay Patel points out, this is very different from Instagram selling user content to third-parties without any rules on how its used. Instead, it's closer to what Facebook (FB) does with sponsored posts. Makes sense, given that Facebook owns Instagram.
But I do have to wonder if this is the first step toward social media killing off the traditional stock imagery business. And if I'm The Carlyle Group (CG), which paid $3.3 billion to buy Getty Images just two months ago, I'd be nervous.
Imagine, for a moment, if Instagram had made this offer to users: You can opt in to a program that lets us sell your photos to third parties, and in exchange we will give you 10% of the revenue. You'll also get photo credit, if the image is sold to a news agency.
Wouldn't this present a major challenge to a company like Getty? Particularly on the digital side, where Carlyle already has acknowledged the company needs to step up its game.
To be sure, Getty offers images taken by professionals. But who's to say that a couple amateur sunset shots aren't just as good? Or that one smartphone shot from next month's presidential inauguration won't come out great? Or, again, those Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders?
And if Instagram is able to sell its photos for significantly less than Getty -- and perhaps offer a similar subscription service -- then social media could seriously eat into the stock photo business.
Again, Instagram isn't going there. Yet.
A Getty spokeswoman said that the company would have some related comments tomorrow, but could not share any thoughts today.
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Staring way up at $1 billion.
FORTUNE -- "You never know, it could be the next Instagram."
I have heard that line, or some variation thereof, from venture capitalists more than a dozen times since Facebook (FB) agreed to acquire the mobile-sharing site back in April for "$1 billion." It's supposed to mean that overpaying can sometimes pay off, and that big returns aren't always predicated on helping to build large, sustainable businesses.
But MOREDan Primack - Aug 2, 2012 4:15 PM ET
Facebook's share price drop affects Instagram price.
FORTUNE -- Lots of talk this week about how Facebook (FB) is interested in acquiring Norwegian browser developer Opera, with some writing about how it would be the social network's "second $1 billion acquisition." Actually, it would be the first.
Facebook's planned purchase of Instagram is now valued at $948 million, based on Facebook's closing price on Wednesday of $28.19 per share. The deal included MOREDan Primack - May 30, 2012 4:48 PM ET
Whiny bankers snipe at Facebook.
Facebook is getting some grief today for choosing to buy Instagram before going public, rather than waiting to make the $1 billion purchase until after its IPO.
From the New York Post:
The timing of that pricey purchase — coupled with a fresh bout of uncertainty in the stock markets — has raised eyebrows on Wall Street, where it is rare for a company to make such a MOREDan Primack - Apr 11, 2012 1:10 PM ET
By Don Dodge, contributor
Facebook yesterday announced that it will pay $1 billion to acquire Instagram -- a company that is less than two years old, has no revenue and about a dozen employees. Remember, acquisitions are about what the acquirer can do with the company in the future, not some multiple of revenues or profits today. So why is Instagram worth $1 billion?
Facebook acquired Instagram for about $30 per user, or $1 billion. ($30/user X MOREApr 10, 2012 9:56 AM ET
Why Facebook is buying Instagram.
Last week, mobile photo-sharing site Instagram raised $50 million from venture capitalists at a $500 million valuation. Today, the company agreed to be acquired for $1 billion by Facebook.
So what happened in the intervening days?
For starters, the venture capital round had been in the works for more than a month. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported the deal back on March 9. But when the MOREDan Primack - Apr 9, 2012 3:03 PM ET
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