Bye Facebook, hello Instagram: Users make beeline for Facebook-owned social network

Facebook faces the dilemma of losing trust and even users in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data leak. Jefferson Graham reports.

SAN FRANCISCO — Before turning in for the night, Katie Clark curls up with Instagram, not Facebook. More personal, less drama.

“I just think it’s a nicer place to be,” the 28-year-old blogger from Littleton, Colo., says of Instagram. On Facebook, “everything feels like an advertisement or an argument.”

More personal, less drama.

“I just think it’s a nicer place to be,” the 28-year-old blogger from Littleton, Colo., says of Instagram. On Facebook, “everything feels like an advertisement or an argument.”

Goodbye Facebook, hello Instagram.

Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1 billion, is having a moment — and just in time to be a lone bright spot for its parent company, which is in crisis over its handling of people’s private information. 

“Thank Goodness For Instagram,” said a Wall Street research note on Facebook’s mounting troubles earlier this week. “I will delete Facebook, but you can pry Instagram from my cold, dead hands,” read a headline on tech news outlet Mashable.

More than two dozen social media users surveyed in recent weeks by USA TODAY say Instagram is now their favorite social network. With feeds filled with inspirational pictures and a chummy vibe, it’s their happy place — or at least a whole lot happier than Facebook.

But, as more of their friends join the #DeleteFacebook movement, some Instagram junkies are getting worried. Facebook-like problems, such as trolls, political conflicts and judgmental friends, are already cropping up on Instagram. There are also more and more ads, they fret, plus lecherous or spammy messages and “fake” news and followers.

 

Don’t even get users started on Instagram’s controversial decision to switch from a chronological feed to a computer algorithm or on the growing number of carefully edited posts eating away at the raw authenticity that made Instagram special.

And now they say they have bigger, scarier concerns. They fear that third parties may have gotten access to their data on Instagram without their knowledge or permission, just like on Facebook. And they are starting to wonder if Instagram, which already was a target of Russian interference, will become even more treacherous in the midterm elections.

 

Instagram says about 20 million people saw content on Instagram from fake Russian accounts. It says it allows developers access to information about users to help businesses understand them, to help users share their content to a third party, such as a photo printing service, or to help broadcasters and publishers find content. 

SRC

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