Crocs Fashion ecommerceSocial media like most things has its fair share of pros and cons at the same time. When Shereen Way innocently posted a picture of herself playing with her daughter wearing a pair of Crocs, she didn’t know the footwear brand would share it on their official website in the user-generated photographs section. The Crocs team could pullout the photograph as she had used a hashtag of the brand name while posting her photograph. Many brands especially apparel brand, indulge in this practice of using pictures of their customers using the company’s products in their day to day life, on the brand’s websites and social media platforms.

The practice of sharing customers private pictures on social media pages of brands however does blur lines of customer’s personal space for the sake of user engagement.The Federal Trade Commission, which handles unfair or deceptive practices, could take action against Instagram if it violates its privacy policy. On the other hand there are users like Liza Day Penney who is more than happy for American Eagle Outfitter to share her pictures on its website. The brand has used many of her pics and rewarded her with a $25 gift card in return. A $25 gift card isn’t a very high price to pay for beautiful user generated images in a world where customers run away from traditional advertising. Giggle, an online baby products company also faced trouble when they used a picture of a child on their website. The latter incident however was a mistake as most brands including Giggle have a very strict policy about seeking prior permission from users while using their images for commercial marketing purposes. There is an ambiguity however in regard of the legal rights that are being violated by brands if users pictures are being used as editorial content.