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Instagram Terms of Service Changes


I’ve always been a fan of the popular photo sharing service Instagram. I don’t have an Instagram enabled phone at the moment, but I will be getting one early in 2013. I was looking forward to using the mobile app again, but I probably won’t bother any more now. The Instagram terms of service have changed. The new terms kick into effect on the 16th of January 2013.

The new Instagram terms of service states that “Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here: http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.”

It also states that “Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

This technical mumbo jumbo basically means that Instagram doesn’t “own” your content, but it if you agree to the new Instagram Terms of Service they can license your photos to other companies and if they wanted to they could sell your photos to advertisers or other firms, WITHOUT compensating you. Read the full Instagram terms of service if you want to and see for yourself.

If you close your Instagram account before the 16th of January 2013, Facebook doesn’t have the right to use your Instagram photos for commercial / advertising purposes. If you close your account after the deadline, they can still use it.

And if you’re wondering about another way around this, there isn’t one – you can only prevent Instagram from using your photos without your permission if you close your account before the deadline. You don’t have to lose your Instagram photos if you’re closing your account though, read this CNET blog post telling you How to back up your Instagram photos and delete your account.

There has been a huge backslash against the new Instagram terms of service over the last few hours. #BoycottInstagram has taken off on Twitter since the new terms of service were announced and thousands of tweets are being sent by angry Instagram users who are closing their account as you read this article. Many of them are already pissed off about the photo preview option that was removed from Twitter and they see this new terms of service announcement as the last straw.

If you ask me, this is a bold and greedy move by Facebook. They obviously want a return on their $700 billion investment. I’m agreeing with the one Twitter user who has called the new Instagram Terms of Service a “Suicide Note”. The persons responsible for the new terms of service was obviously smoking a crack pipe when they thought of this. Instagram is going to lose a LOT of users.

If Facebook wants a return on their investment they’ll have to think of another way to monetize Instagram. Facebook needs to learn to respect people’s privacy, even though they’re operating a free service. Don’t even get me started on the promoted posts sham that they’re running for Facebook pages.

What do you think of this? Feel free to comment on this post and provide me with your opinion. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.

Spread the word about this by sharing this article with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Technology category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


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