"What is the labour encoded in Instagram? It’s easy to see. Every “user” of Instagram is a worker. There are some people who produce photos — this is valuable, it means there is something for people to look it. There are some people who only produce comments or “likes,” the virtual society equivalent of apes picking lice off other apes. This is valuable, because people like recognition and are more likely to produce photos. All workers are also marketers — some highly effective and some not at all. And there’s a general intellect which has been developed, a kind of community expertise and teaching of this expertise to produce photographs which are good at producing the valuable, attractive likes and comments (i.e., photographs which are especially pretty and provocative), and a somewhat competitive culture to become a better marketer. There are also the workers who build the factory — the behaviour-structuring instrument/forum which is Instagram itself, both its infrastructure and it’s “interface:” the production lines on the factory floor, and the factory store. However these workers are only playing a role. Really they are owners. All of those workers (the factory workers) receive a wage. They have not organised, so the wage is low, but it’s there. It’s invisible."
"At the end of the day it is about beautiful imagery. But it’s really more about useful imagery. Useful can mean beautiful or entertaining. And that’s what it’s really about. How do you take all the visual data from around the world and bring it to one place and what do you make of that? Is it your way to get news now? Is it your way to share things with friends? Is it your way to experience events you wouldn’t have otherwise? For example, I follow Banana Republic and Burberry… It’s a new way of shopping. So all of a sudden you’re seeing things and products coming by. Audi, I get to follow Audi’s cars as they get launched at car shows. It’s not simply about a latte and some art. It’s more than that because I can experience things from all different vantage points. And that’s why I think what we’re doing is so impactful in the long run. It is a universal medium that allows you to explore the world and that is something that the world has been asking for for a long time."
"When people write critically about Facebook, they often say that “you are the product being sold,” but I think that by now we all get that. The digital substance of our friendships belongs to these companies, and they are loath to share it with others. So we build our little content farms within, friending and upthumbing, learning to accept that our new landlords are people who grew up on Power Rangers. This is, after all, the way of our new product-based civilization — in order to participate as a citizen of the social web, you must yourself manufacture content. Progress requires that forms must be filled. Thus it is a critical choice of any adult as to where they will perform their free labor."
"Timeline is a Time Machine
That is what Timeline wants to become. But if Timeline is to succeed as a time machine, it has to look the way people want to remember their lives. We don’t want to look back at our lives and instead of remembering events with fondness be distracted or dissapointed by how terrible our photos looked. People are vain. We want to look good or at least have our photos look cool."