Uproar over Instagram Terms of Service changes

Folks aren't pleased with the latest money making scheme

December 18, 2012

There has been quite the outcry on the net today, regarding changes Instagram has made to its Terms of Service (ToS) this week.

The new service agreement notes under the Rights section that: “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.”

In other words, Instagram can flog your photo content for use in an advert without having to give you a penny of any profit made (or ask your permission, or do anything in fact).

That has made for a lot of unhappy bunnies. One user commented: “I don’t recall granting a non-exclusive royalty-free license to you to sell my pictures to advertisers.”

These terms aren’t active yet, we should note, but they will come into play in mid-January.

One other policy change which has caused quite a stir is this, as explained by Instagram on the company blog: “Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.”

What this also does is also give Facebook access to all the lovely data on Instagram, in order to help with the ever-present quest to better target and service adverts (and strip away user privacy).

Plenty of folks are up in arms about both of these moves, and have quit, or are threatening to quit, the photo sharing service. It should be interesting to see if Instagram (or should we say Facebook, the new owner) comes up with a further response on its blog, or if it has a change of heart given the storm which has blown up around this.


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