Photo via DigitalTrends
“…my job is to make Facebook work for photographers, and to help photographers make the best use of the Facebook.” – TK
Photo sharing and promotion has been integral in Facebook’s business model from the start. As such, the photo experience has changed and grown in tandem with the other facets of the company. If there was ever any doubt in the weight Facebook puts on imagery, it was wiped clean with its purchase of Instagram. That said, photographers and individuals alike have had their fair share of problems with these new sharing and distribution models. Adequate protection of intellectual property being a major one, with Facebook’s terms of service essentially letting groups and companies use member images without permission, credit, or compensation. There hasn’t been a voice to mediate effectively between Facebook and photographers. That’s changing with the company’s new hire, Teru Kuwayama.
“For me, the most important aspect of my role is that I’m the internal advocate for photographers. I’m here to make sure that the interests of photographers are represented in everything from feature development on the technical side to the terms of service on the legal side.” – TK
According to a fresh report on PND, Kuwayama has been hired in a newly created role of photo liaison of the Facebook community. “I’m inventing the position as we speak,” he told PDN. Any photographer familiar with Kuwayama will likely view this with welcome, and with hope. His accomplishments and accolades aren’t sparse; A co-founder of Lightstalkers, he also happens to be a TED Senior Fellow, Knight Fellow at Stanford, Ochberg Fellow, and a Hoover Institute Fellow. No stranger then to the world of photography and photojournalism, it stands to reason that he is equipped with the necessary skillset and experience to carry out his intentions to be an advocate for photographers on Facebook, and Instagram. Check out his Instagram for some evocative work.
I think this is a much needed step to be taken by Facebook and intrinsically by Instagram. These two are giants in the social world and adequate representation for photographers is needed. I also feel, and hope, this may bring greater focus on the way photos are integrated in the Facebook experience. Larger images perhaps? Have you been burned by Facebook’s terms of service? What do you think of this, and what would you like to see?