Instagram, love it or hate it, is a popular social network, but until now it’s been a popular social network mostly confined to smartphones. It’s just now made a jump to web profiles, which is kind of surprising considering Facebook owns it. Equally unsurprising, since Facebook owns it, is that they managed to screw up user security, but at least only slightly: If their profile isn’t set to private, you can now scroll through anybody’s Instagram feed.
How? Easy! Fill in the blank: http://www.instagram.com/[username]
True, this isn’t nearly as bad as some of the other social media privacy breaches online — just ask the two gay students involuntarily outed recently thanks to the fact that you can forcibly add people to Groups without their permission, or people getting phone spam because Facebook left their phone number vulnerable. And it’s not like people post naked pictures to Instagram all the time: Most probably won’t have an issue with the sharing of photos of cars and meals run through every filter the app has.
That said, though, not unreasonably, people may be slightly skeeved out by the idea of anybody just randomly accessing their info. If you’re one of the skeeved, the solution is easy: Just go to the settings on the app and set Photos Are Private to On. Of course, this also means you won’t collect any more followers.
We’ll be curious to see how many people decide their ego is more important than their privacy.