Instagram reverts back to original Terms of Service

In a blog from Kevin Systrom (co-founder) Instagram is going to keep using the same Terms of Service since they launched in 2010.

Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.

The internet was in uproar this week after the announcement of the new TOS.  From concerns on how the photos would be used, if your kids pics could be sold, among other issues.  The blog also goes on saying..

You also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content. I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do.

This is the subject that caused the biggest uproar and got a few high-profile users like National Geographic to suspended their accounts in light of the new changes.  Apparently we were misinformed of their intentions.  The following is copied directly from the TOS that caused such an uproar.

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.

So Instagram has listened, however they still need to make money. Since they offer a free app they have to create revenue somewhere.  I guess in the coming months we will see what their idea is.


Instagram Planning To Sell Your Photos.


Photo by: John Googe
Instagram: grooge79_ru

For those not familiar with Instagram it is a free social network that allows users to share photographs taken with their mobile devices.  The user can then apply filters if they chose and share with their friends and the world.  Today they have announced that they will start selling users photographs for profit similar to Shutterstock, iStockphoto, among many others.  Finally, a way to make that new smart phone pay for itself!!

So how much do you make from your photos sold? Absolutely nothing.  According to Instagram the new intellectual property policy will take effect January 16, 2013.  If you delete your account after the January deadline you cannot opt out.

John Googe

Photo by: John Googe
Instagram: grooge79_ru

So what does this mean?  This new policy allows for Facebook/Instagram to sell your photos to anyone for advertising, websites, and so forth without the consent of the owner.  So if you took pics of your kids playing on the beach, those photos could be sold for websites, advertising and brochures.  Which brings up a long list of concerns and possibly breaking various privacy laws.

Personally I don’t like this idea at all. First off it should be up to the user if the photo can be sold or not.  If they opt for it being sold, then they should get some piece of the pie.  Without the users they would not have anything to sell to begin with.  Instagram was a way for aspiring artists to get their creativity to be seen.  It’s sad that a company like this would try to monetize its users work without any compensation to the owner of the photo.


Photo by: John Googe
Instagram: grooge79_ru

I’m curious as to how many users they will lose before the deadline.  Personally, I would switch to Flickr.  At least on their site if someone want to use your photograph, you can get paid.

The pictures in this post are by a friend of mine John Googe. On his off time as a Glynn County Fire Fighter he shares his creations via Instagram.  His handle is grooge79_ru, if you get a chance you should definitely check out his work.

Thank you for reading and while your here, kick back and take a look at some of my other articles and photographs.