Instagram has recently made changes to its terms of service that give them the right to use any content you post to their network for commercial purposes. Mainly, for advertising.
While I don’t begrudge Instagram for finding a way to monetize their free photo sharing service, I can sympathize with those users that fear their likeness will be used without any say on where, when, or how.
I realize that most Instagram members use the service to snap cat pictures and covertly capture shots of disheveled Wal-Mart shoppers. These users probably won’t mind the change to the terms of service, or even be aware of it.
But for many who make their living from the Internet, specifically social media, this is seen as a direct grabbing of their content and an assault on their livelihood.
The Twittersphere is abuzz over this terms of service change.
Reactions ranged from “I’m quitting Instagram”:
I WILL BE QUITTING INSTAGRAM TODAY. WHAT A BUMMER. YOU SHOULD ALL READ THEIR NEW RULES.
— P!nk (@Pink) December 18, 2012
To “It’s not really that big of a deal”:
Last year, we quit Facebook. 6 months ago, we quit Twitter. Today, we quit Instagram. Oh, by “quit” you mean stop using them? Then no.
— MG Siegler (@parislemon) December 18, 2012
Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife and hide yo’ husband because #instagram is stealin’ errrbody’s info…and then selling it.
— CourtneyPants (@callmecourt) December 18, 2012
As for this Instagram user, I’m taking a “wait and see” approach. I’m already taking pictures using product placement, and Biggby Coffee hasn’t come knocking on my door to hand me a check.
Perhaps if this change was taking money out of my hands I suppose I’d be a little more up-in-arms about it. But since I see Instagram as a fun extension of my self-promotional efforts, I don’t foresee me closing my account in protest.
That is, until I see this show up in a Cialis or Viagra ad:
Then I think I might decide to pull the plug on Instagram.
Update: Instagram posted a response to the feedback on their blog, “The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.” [Source]