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This article's claim (even stated in the title) is not that Instagram should have charged, but that users should demand to pay. The article is not written for Instagram: it is written for users.

> Truly, the only way to get around the privacy problems inherent in advertising-supported social networks is to pay for services that we value. It's amazing what power we gain in becoming paying customers instead of the product being sold.




> users should demand to pay

People have a hard time paying for parking space, yet some claim those same people should demand paying for the ability to upload a small file to the internet. I don't think anybody outside of the tech bubble treats such advice seriously.


... so because the attempt is futile, you are saying we should pretend he didn't say it, and interpret the rest of his article in that light?

FWIW, I have a friend in the planning division of the city I live in, and just a few days ago we were having a discussion about the issues with parking.

http://www.amazon.com/High-Cost-Free-Parking-Updated/dp/1932...

People certainly can and do make arguments that people should demand to pay for parking, as to do anything else causes even worse problems.


I was curious if somebody will bring this title to the table as I've found this book some time ago on Goodreads, but frankly, 800p about this subject is a TLDR for me.

My point was, while I think people should be comfortable paying for services, claiming they should demand to pay instead of getting it free is a bit absurd. It's not like there are no paid more feature-rich alternatives for uploading photos, or that web users just don't pay for online; it's just that Instagram, Twitter & co wouldn't grow to those numbers if they were a paid service. Prove me wrong, but I also got the feeling Pinboard users are there for the statement, not because they believe bookmarking links is worth $10.


But then:

> Here's an alternative version of what Instagram could have done


<- ...were users to like paying for such things or even demand to do so (which they aren't, hence why this article was written at all, but this is a cool universe in which we could live: imagine it!)...




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