Instagram changes policy — can now sell your photos

Created by Lashe on Dec. 18, 2012, 3:07 a.m.
  • As a pretty active user of the Instagram service since purchasing my iPhone, I was pretty affronted when the company announced their new policies last night which allow them to access and sell photos you host without any notice, permission or accreditation — and there's no abilty opt-out.

    It's bothered me enough to want to look out for another social alternative. I kept my followers/following down to my close friends, so I wasn't necessarily as invested in the network as others may be. This morning, I stumbled across Lightt — a beautifully designed app and slightly different spin on the social image sharing with good, deep Facebook integration. Might give it a go.

    Anyone else bothered/affected by this change?

  • I am not affected as I don't use instagram but they are going too far in my opinion. I know facebook needs to make their money back after spending $1bn, and I am happy that my data is shared to target adverts to me and in order to customise services but I should retain all rights to my own image and profie. It took a good while to figure out how to shut facebook off from using me to advertise products to my friends but at least they give that option. The worst thing for me is that accounts for children 13-18 are not exempt and could be used too. Not cool.

    I talk about my views in full on my blog post here

  • Wow, I'm glad that I do not use instagram.

  • Does Facebook's policies allow them to do this already?

  • How horrible and shocking! A company owned by an advertising company will sell the photos you took on your mobile advertising platform for advertising.

  • @AwesomeAndy:  Facebook should be treating Instagram like a product and finding ways to monetize.

    In this equation, I am Instagram's product, rather than the user of a product. That's where it becomes wrong.
  • @Lashe: So do you never use Google products? Because, guess what: you are also Google's product. (This is also likely true of Apple, MS, Yahoo, etc., but Google is probably the most universal of them.)

  • @AwesomeAndy: Well, not liking isn't the same as not using. With google, you can at least adblock and prevent the eventual outcome: targeted ads. You can also opt out of data collection (I think?) and get generic ads.

    Also unlike google - with instagram you are not the product. But you do create the product.

  • Like AtomicEdge said, I'm pretty sure Facebook does this already. Since Instagram is owned by them, I don't see why anyone would be taken by surprise (or give a fuck).

    Since I'm a Windows Phone user I don't care either way, but I would like to see Flickr's social stuff get better. Then people will start using a better product, because some pictures on Flickr actually matter. And I'd rather see a bunch of hipsters start using Flickr than Yahoo go under.
  • @Conmused: Yes, please continue to rationalize away how the company you like doing something you don't like is okay while one you don't like doing the same thing is not.

  • @AwesomeAndy: What? I'm not saying either are okay. I'm saying both are bad, but at least you can work around one a little.

  • Okay, my first reaction was big deal they're selling stuff to advertisers.

    https://twitter.com/nickbilton/status/280727796622442496 then someone pointed me to this Nick Bilton tweet and the following conversation. If you scroll down to the conversation between Nick Bilton and Ryan Block (who runs GDGT) you get to what's disturbing about this change.

    Instagram will sell your likeness as an ad, post it to people's feeds and not disclose that it's an ad. Seriously, even google and Facebook don't go that far as to use my content as ads undifferentiated in my stream.

    Using my content as ads I can accept, not really sure I can accept them not marking it as an ad.

    Added: taken with their absurd decision to pull support for Twitter, an app I'm much more connected to, I'm way less interested in Instagram than I was two weeks ago.

  • Instagram just signed their own death warrent

  • @thenexus: Probably not. While news might be going viral in tech circles and on twitter, the average user of Instagram is going to be all "yes yes whatever, accept terms, let me take my photos". People had the same reaction when Facebook did a similar update, and they're still doing preeeeeeetty okay, I must say.

  • OH NO, they've gained sole ownership of the world's sepia-tone street signs and images of food! Actually I'm really concerned about the fact that it's retroactive.

    Maybe concerned's too strong of a word.


  • So, my go-to source for this kind of stuff is Nilay Patel. Because he used to be a copyright lawyer. To me, that basically gives him more internet-street-cred than anyone else.

    Anyway, he wrote an article to clear up the confusion about Instagram.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/18/3780158/instagrams-new-terms-of-service-what-they-really-mean

    In a hurry? Too lazy to read? They posted talking points in big orange text to explain the gist of it all.