Instagram Updates Terms of Service

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this post today. One of my favorite social media outlets, Instagram,  has changed it’s privacy policy and terms of service, which could have very negative effects for all of its users, especially photographers. Before I go into the changes, let’s look at Instagram’s history.

When Instagram came on to the social media scene in October of 2010, it was quite simply put the best and simplest photo sharing social media outlet. With it’s fun retro filters, people were sharing their lives like crazy. By December 2010, Instagram had 1 million users. In May of this year, Instagram reported that 58 photos were being uploaded and a new user gained every second.

Then Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. The deal was approved by the Office of Fair Trading on August 14, 2012. The deal closed on September 6, 2012.

Monday, December 17, 2012, Instagram (Facebook), now says it the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification. Yes, you read that correctly. Instagram has the right to sell YOUR photographs without payment or notification. Period.

Other highlights of the changes include but are not limited to:

*Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers.

*You could star in an advertisement — without your knowledge.

*Underage users are not exempt.

*Ads may not be labeled as ads.

If these changes are not settling well with you, your only course of action is to delete your account. There is not an option for you to opt out.

This change goes into effect on January 16, 2013.

Unfortunately, I will be emailing myself all of my Instagram images, deleting my account and taking a second look at Flickr, where copyrights are protected.

Will you continue to use Instagram?