Instagram Makes Big Privacy Policy Change

Popular App Goes From Hero To Zero

Instagram Makes Big Privacy Policy Change

I’ve said it before, Instagram is one of my favourite photography apps. It’s safe to say I love it, and judging from my Instagram profile page, it ranks right up there with Pinterest on the GigaMom addiction scale.

Not long ago I even glowed about how happy Instagram had made me when they actually listened to their users and created profile pages.

But last week my GigaMom spidey senses went off when suddenly Instagram pulled its photo integration from Twitter, and today I’m finding myself with a very large cup of coffee in front of me, as I read the new Instagram privacy and terms of service that was recently changed and has a lot of people up in arms. This new policy takes place January 16, 2013 and are all a part of Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram so the two platforms can share information more easily.

Going straight to Instagram itself, and their blog post published December 17th I saw that they put the “good news” out there first. Thank you for breaking it to me gently, Instagram.....

Here are a few key updates, word-for-word from their blog post:

"Nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them. Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used. Our updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow."

Then they suggested that you go over to read the actual terms of service, which they themselves admit are a bit dry. For that, I appreciate their honesty, and before I read all of the posts that screamed out “Instagram is stealing my photos and I’m deleting my account!!!!” I read the full policy.

It took me two cups of coffee with a splash of festive Bailey’s, but I did it. Here’s what I found out:

Section 3 is the area that everyone needs to read. It says very clearly who they are going to share your information with, and I think that Instagram users need to understand and accept what they are doing here, because it’s important. What it tells me is that they are clearing the way for a much deeper content integration with Facebook, and the Instagram/Facebook machine wants to use your photos without you having any control over them at all.

Of particular interest: “Affiliates may use this information to help provide, understand, and improve the Service (including by providing analytics) and Affiliates’ own services (including by providing you with better and more relevant experiences). But these Affiliates will honor the choices you make about who can see your photos.”

Essentially, Instagram is saying that it has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without payment or notification. This new policy takes effect on January 16th, 2013 and unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Sharon put it perfectly:

This news today makes me sad. Instagram is one of my fave apps on my phone and I have loved using it as part of my life every day. But after this news today, I am doing what many others are, making sure I have saved all of my Instagram photos to my own computer, and putting a reminder on the calendar to delete my Instagram account BEFORE January 16, 2013.

I’m also crossing Instagram off my Christmas card list. They are definitely on the naughty list now.


Three Things You’ll Save by Shopping Online

Frenzied Shopping Is Not Good For The Soul... But a Stroller Giveaway is!

Three Things You’ll Save by Shopping Online

Online shopping has been on my mind a lot lately. The holiday shopping season is here (let’s face it, it arrived the day after Halloween), and it’s impossible to go out to a shopping mall anywhere right now without seeing frenzied people rushing about trying to cross items off their Christmas lists. Along with other things that can stress a person out at this time of year, the added insanity of battling through throngs of people at a store can actually push a person to the limit.

Frenzied shopping? Packed parking lots? Crazy crowds? No thanks.

There’s a reason why online shopping is growing in popularity each year. Consumers are realizing that, although sometimes shopping for things in person has its advantages, there’s no comparison between online vs. in-person shopping when it comes to three things:

Saving time, saving money and saving your sanity. If you want to save those three things, online shopping is the way to go.

Save Time

There is nothing more valuable than your time. Nothing. Have you ever had a “quick trip” to the store turn into double or triple the time? Chances are you have and chances are the added time put just a tad more stress into your day. Not fun.

Example: you see in a flyer that a toy your child wants is on sale, but the store is a 30 minute drive from your home. You may save a few bucks on the item, but once you factor in the time it takes you to get there, battle your way through a packed store and then get back home, was it worth the $5 or $10 you saved? My opinion is no.

Now, take that same scenario for purchasing the toy online. You can shop in peace after the kids have gone to bed, or first thing in the morning before the rest of your house is even awake. By the time your kids get their sleepy selves to the breakfast table in the morning, you could have completed what would have been a good 4 hour trip to the mall, all from the comfort of your home, with your coffee in hand. Enough said.

If it’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, nothing is more valuable than time. I’ll take every chance I can get to save as much of it as I can, thank you very much. Online shopping is a huge part of me being able to save time every week, and that’s more time for me to do things with my kids.

Save Money

One of my biggest pet peeves when I’m shopping is when I finally get to the store, find the area where the things I’m looking for are SUPPOSED to be, only to find that they’re sold out. Sometimes you can get a raincheck from the store, but frequently with sale items, they won’t issue them. Now you’re in a situation where you need to find a replacement for this item, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up spending more money than you had originally budgeted. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in this situation and ended up coming home with something different that ended up costing more.


One of my very favourite things about online shopping is that right away, you know whether or not your item is in stock. And if it is in stock, it will show you how many are left so you can gauge how fast you should make this purchase if you want to make sure you get it.

Another great money-saver for online shopping are websites like ParentsCanada Sweet Deals. This kind of website specializes in letting shoppers know about daily deals by way of a daily email, and offers a daily Featured Deal. Find, click, buy and voila—you’re done. Using a website like this can save you from 40% to even 100% of an item. Yup, I said 100%. Is there a better price than “free”? I think not.

Plus, to make a sweet deal even sweeter, ParentsCanada Sweet Deals is giving away a super cool prize to a YMC reader including an UPPA baby stroller and more, worth $1,000! Simply sign up here, enter promo code "YMC2012" when prompted and you will be entered to win! Sweet...

I found these very cool baby slippers at ParentsCanada Sweet Deals and saved 50%, a great savings for a cute gift that I can't wait to give to some awesome mamas-to-be that I know. Bought from the comfort of my kitchen, I’ve got something adorable that I wouldn’t have found as I was wearily working my way through a crowded mall.

By being able to find what you need online, or to find a comparable item price-wise, you will end up saving money, no question.

Save Sanity

Recently it was Black Friday in the US—the biggest shopping day of the year, next to maybe Boxing Day. All day I shook my head as I saw videos and photos being posted of people cramming themselves into stores, fighting with total strangers and spending enormous amounts of money. It was the definition of insanity, and I don’t think I’ll ever understand it.

Look what happened at this Victoria’s Secret store in Oklahoma—the employees pretty much had to run for their lives as they opened the door:

Or the chaos in this store as people fought for a discounted smartphone:

That right there, is the definition of insanity. It’s incredible that people would choose to put themselves into a situation like this when they could have shopped online. Seriously.

And on the flip side, for the first time in history, online sales on Black Friday this year hit $1 billion. One. Billion. Dollars. Clearly some shoppers on Black Friday knew the smart way to shop.

Time. Money. Sanity. It’s the holy trinity of shopping and come to think of it, parenting. Those are three things that seem to always be in short supply and we need to be able to save it as much as possible, whenever possible. For me, being able to shop from home using my laptop or an app on my phone is a huge factor in what I buy and where.

ParentsCanada Sweet Deals is giving one lucky YMC reader an UPPAbaby stroller filled with amazing stuff for the whole family—a LIKE book, bagnetic bags, a car seat canopy—a total value of $1,000!

Here’s how to enter:

  Sign up for ParentsCanada Sweet Deals by December 31
  Enter this promo code when you sign-up: YMC2012
  Then you’re entered to win and you'll get a $2 sign up bonus, too

Sign up now to win this great prize pack!

And of course if you bought all of the prize items at you’d save 60%.


Spill it! How often do you shop online & what kind of products do you buy online as opposed to in-person?

Sweet Deals Rules and Regs: You must be a ParentsCanada Sweet Deals subscriber to win. Click to sign up! It's free and you'll have access to daily deals on family items. Entries accepted until December 31, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Full contest rules & regulations.

Amanda House Takes on Loblaws

The Power Of A Viral Video

Amanda House Takes on Loblaws

I’m going to cut right to the chase. Watch this entire video: 

Are you angry now? If you are, you’re not alone. All of a sudden this brave woman has a small virtual army behind her fight for her business and her fiance’s life.

On December 10, 2012, YoPRO founder Amanda House recorded the video above and didn’t beat around the bush with what she had to say. In her very first sentence, she strongly said her name and who the video was addressed to—Galen Weston Jr. of Loblaws Company Ltd. In less than 4 minutes, Amanda told the entire story of how Loblaws entered into a commitment with her company to put their product into their stores, then after recovering from a “mistake” that left YoPRO literally “forgotten” by Loblaws, they were set to re-launch into even more stores across more provinces only to have the business relationship dissolve resulting in lawsuits and costly delays. She also made mention how Loblaws duplicated the YoPRO product under their own PC label—hearing that part of the story left me speechless and sad.

With less than a minute left in her video, Amanda tells Galen Weston what the biggest price paid so far has been...

As Amanda holds her phone up to the camera in the video, you see the image of her business partner and fiance Chris Delaney lying unconscious in a hospital bed. The photo was taken a few days earlier, when he had to be rushed to the hospital after having an adverse reaction to a medication.

Amanda’s speech in the video is clear, detailed, and powerful. She has a message and she needs the world to hear it.

I became aware of the video through Facebook and thought it would be a story that the fans of the YMC Facebook page would want to hear. So I posted a link to Amanda’s video and wasn’t surprised when the comments and shares came fast and furious.

Take a look at them here.

In just 24 hours, Amanda House’s video plea to Galen Weston and Loblaws has gone viral. It’s received thousands of views, it’s being talked about on Twitter and Facebook and people are up in arms about what has happened to this small Canadian business, and the people behind it.

It’s amazing to think that, if there were no such thing as YouTube or social media platforms, all of these people who are so upset and demanding something be done for YoPRO would have no idea it was even happening. That right there shows us the power of a public video, however short & simple, and the incredible reach it can have.

I know this story is going to hit the media in a big way very quickly. Amanda’s fight has taken a very public and very personal turn and it looks like she’s suddenly got the support of thousands of Canadians who know that what’s happened to her, her partner and their business is wrong.

One small voice, one small video, one huge reaction. Powerful stuff, indeed.