Under these conditions, companies have to sell themselves because they do not have a sustainable business. And when they’re sold, they either A) get shut down or B) become part of an advertising machine, like Facebook’s.
Truly, the only way to get around the privacy problems inherent in advertising-supported social networks is to pay for services that we value. It’s amazing what power we gain in becoming paying customers instead of the product being sold.
In a world where I have the money to support it, I probably toss Facebook US$20 a year in return for a premium service with 1) no ads or 2) a guarantee that people who choose to see my updates will see all of them, rather than their current algorithm that requires you to Promote status updates or Life Events. I use an or because I’m quite sure that Facebook makes more than $20/yr off of me in ads, and the current price for me to promote a status is US$7.
Instagram’s new ToS has me considering discontinuing my account. I’ve only used it for a few weeks, and while it’s nice, I could do without it.