I’ve been playing around with the iPhone app Instagram. I decided to give this freebie a try after a gaggle of soulless self promoting Apple marketing zombies declared it “imaging app of the year.” Instagram, like Hipstamatic, (which incidentally stopped working after the last update), crops iPhone images to squares, applies hokey filters and then offers you the opportunity to “share” or print your masterpieces on related websites. Apparently Instagram is already one of the words largest online photo libraries. Considering Instagram images are filtered iPhone shots it’s almost certainly the world’s second largest online collection of crappy throw-away shots. Facebook is the largest if you’re wondering!
You probably sense that I am not drinking the Instagram cool-aid. Instagram is a fine fun freebie but it strips EXIF data from the images it drops in the iPhone camera roll. This is the second iPhone EXIF exterminator I have encountered. I have this thing about EXIF data; it annoys me when software massacres it.
Here’s a little poem:
Exterminate EXIF - NOT Let it be Set your fricking EXIF free Alas, with Instagram, it's not to be!
3 thoughts on “The Instagram Metadata Massacre”
Although I’m OCD about my metadata, I am also OCD about privacy. Sharing services like Instagram and Facebook and Tumblr and such should have EXIF data stripped off by default. You should need to consciously turn on sharing of that data.
Think of the GPS metadata that’s in the EXIF. If you knew exactly where someone was at a certain time, that could have implications. I suppose it might serve someone right if they post a picture on Instagram of themselves doing drugs or committing some other crime. The police could go round them up and charge them with reckless stupidity.
But then famous people who might be the target of stalkers need to be sure that when they post pictures from their phones (arguably a wonderful thing that the modern web allows them to do—if it is done right), they don’t get their exact GPS coordinates revealed to the world. People deserve privacy and sharing EXIF widely threatens that.
I agree the no EXIF by default is reasonable provided you can turn it on when you want EXIF data. The last time I looked you could not do this with Instagram.
Lordy be! The lastest (Dec 15, 2011) update of Hipstamatic restores this app. It now functions on my iPhone. Give yourselves one big Attaboy!