An internet company is in trouble when it suddenly receives flak from the end users. The reason for the sudden shift stems from the company’s delusional belief that the management is in control of the situation. Foundering companies such as Netflix quickly receive the message that, at the end of the day, it is the customers who call the shots. Internet users are savvy consumers who demand great service, or else. Having a cornucopia of options available to them, the public does not have to live with unresponsive or arrogant internet service providers.
Instagram’s most recent PR debacle involves its announcement that the photo file-sharing company arbitrarily assumes all publishing and promotional rights to all of the subscriber content stored on the site. The subscribers responded to the decree with a unified chorus of “No Way”. As the news of the company’s attempted cash grab spread, management circled the wagons and hunkered down for a long siege of angry customers. Later, under extreme pressure from subscribers, Instagram back-peddled from the earlier attempt to claim content ownership.
Companies like Instagram, which was recently bought by Facebook,seem to have difficulty in learning from other examples of internet companies who have fallen on their own petards. Last year, Netflix faced a wholesale exodus of subscribers’ when it announced higher rates on its services. That miscalculation nearly sank the movie rental leader. Previously, Netflix’s founder, Kevin Systrom, rocked the boat when disgruntled Tweeters were told that Netflix would no longer support Twitter cards which were a popular service that alienated millions of subscribers.
The Instagram parade of missteps and public relations blunders has not exactly enamored itself to their fans, who do have options as to the platforms from which they choose to operate.