Owner of Instagram Testifies to Congress

In a world where more than half a billion people share photographs every single day on Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg's influence, and dare say, ownership of the future of photography cannot be underestimated.

via GIPHY

In the office yesterday (and this morning) we listened to Mr. Zuckerberg's testimony, waiting to hear a mention of an ad-free, algorithm-free version of the InstaFace universe, where users could "see what they want to see," rather than receiving the ad-infused, chronologically-disordered feeds we're all currently being served on Instagram and Facebook.

While over time, Facebook has become a pay-to-play space that makes it increasingly difficult for small businesses and non-profits to reach audiences who've already declared their preference to receive our posts, there's no doubt that the power of Mr. Zuckerberg's tools will continue to influence arts & culture (and arts & culture organizations) well into the future.

(For more about how small arts non-profits are dealing with the current capriciousness of Facebook's algorithms, please see Steve Lambert's revealing and impassioned "Why Facebook is a Waste of Time - and Money - for Arts Nonprofits.")

Beyond Instagram and Facebook's photo-sharing, it was fascinating to see working photographers at the hearing, elbow-to-elbow, awaiting his arrival, and getting their pics before Grassley's gavel began banging.

Here's a crop of Leah Mills' photo for Reuters:

And here's Andrew Harnick, photographing for AP during Mr. Zuckerberg's arrival:


But one of the most interesting visual representations of the testimony was Harnick's photograph of Mr. Zuckerberg's notes. The original, below, followed by a cropped, rotated version.




I was going to follow-up with an update from Wednesday's testimony, specifically a passage where Mr. Zuckerberg was discussing how a particular use case of "sharing a photograph" affects the ownership of that photograph. When transcripts are available (testimony is still happening at the moment) I'll update this post with that information.

- MDM 20180411

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