Rich Gorman: Online Marketer Weighs in on Instagram Furor

Instagram has found itself embroiled in controversy in recent weeks, prompting marketing pro Rich Gorman to sound off on the social network's declining online reputation.

New York, New York (PRWEB) January 02, 2013

There was a time when Instagram, the online photo-sharing service, was heralded as one of the true rising stars in the social media world, often named alongside such heavy-hitters as Pinterest and Foursquare—but according to direct response marketing pioneer Rich Gorman, those days may be coming to a close. Instagram has recently found itself embroiled in controversy, reconfiguring some of its terms of service and generating outcry among many long-time users. Compounding the damage to the Instagram brand are a series of reports, indicating that the network has experienced a dramatic decline in daily active users—reports that Instagram itself has denied. All of the furor over Instagram has drawn the attention of Gorman, who has issued a statement to the press, offering his own take on the incident.

“It is unclear the extent to which Instagram has experienced a real decline in daily active users—and indeed, there may not have been a demonstrable decline at all,” says Gorman, in his statement to the press. “What we can say for sure, though, is that Instagram's online reputation has taken a hit. A social network that was once regarded as a real contender is now mired in controversy, much of it seeming to stem from general dissatisfaction among users. That is the kind of online reputation damage that can prove lethal over the long haul, and Instagram faces a dire need for some online reputation management.”

The most severe reputation damage sustained by Instagram stems from an article in The New York Post, which alleges that the network has lost 25 percent of its daily active user base in recent weeks—a report that has drawn widespread skepticism, and that has been soundly dismissed by Instagram. According to Gorman, though, the veracity of this claim is not what matters. “What matters is that, when someone conducts a Google search for Instagram right now, the first thing to pop up on the page is a series of news articles about how Instagram is flailing, how its user base is declining,” Gorman notes. “Regardless of whether or not this is true, it is absolutely damaging to the integrity of the Instagram brand.”

Gorman notes that Instagram's trouble started in mid-December, when the network rolled out its new terms of service, which proved more commercially-minded than the previous Instagram terms of service. “Instagram made the crucial mistake of acting like it took its users for granted, or did not care ultimately about their satisfaction,” Gorman explains. “The terms of service immediately resulted in paranoid articles about how Instagram now has the right to sell private photos submitted by its users—and again, the veracity of this accusation is not the issue. The issue is the big hit taken by the Instagram brand.”

Gorman says that user outcry from the Instagram camp is likely what led to the ominous reports about Instagram's declining users. “Instagram has rejected the numbers posted in the Post, and indeed, those numbers are probably blown way out of proportion,” Gorman says. “With that said, there is surely a grain of truth to them. In the wake of the damage done to Instagram's reputation, it is hardly surprising to find that some users are a little less keen on the social network.”

The answer, for Instagram, may lie in online reputation management. “Instagram needs to remind users of what has always made the social network so popular,” Gorman says. “The sooner the company can suppress those stories about declining user numbers, the better off it will be.”

Rich Gorman is a direct response marketing pioneer and a long-time social media enthusiast; he tweets regularly, @richgorman101.


Rich Gorman is a prolific online innovator, a serial entrepreneur, and a major name in the direct response marketing industry. His brand, Direct Response, is one of the leading names in the field, and through the Direct Response blog, Gorman regularly offers insider information and tips to his fellow marketing professionals. Gorman is zealous for leveraging the power of the Internet to facilitate business success, and as such he is a passionate devotee to social marketing, SEO, content marketing, and related disciplines.

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