I remember when Instagram first came out- the World rejoiced at the fact that we could all finally make our lives better by taking pictures of generally quite boring stuff and adding whimsical filters and borders to make it seem like our entire existence took place inside a 1970’s polaroid photo from the heart of Summer. It really was a wonderful time. Eventually, the fun had to stop…
ENTER Mark Zuckerberg.
Once the Facebook mega-mogul had splashed out $1 Billion on acquiring Instagram to add to the Facebook portfolio, we all knew that it was just a matter of time before he would be able to remove every drop of fun from the application, monetising the crap out of it as he went along (look at how you now need to pay to get your posts seen on Facebook). All that we didn’t know, was how exactly he was going to do that.
“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
And you thought South Park was kidding when they told you to pay more attention to those iTunes user agreements- who knows, you could be signing away your vital organs should Mark Zuckerberg ever require them for his organ liquidising machines to power his social network one day.
Bye Bye Instagram… it was rad knowing you.
– Added Note:
After everyone basically lost their tits- Instagram posted the following statement on their blog:
I’m writing this today to let you know we’re listening and to commit to you that we will be doing more to answer your questions, fix any mistakes, and eliminate the confusion. As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos.
Legal documents are easy to misinterpret. So I’d like to address specific concerns we’ve heard from everyone:
Advertising on Instagram From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.
To provide context, we envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following. Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.
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. Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.
Ownership Rights Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.
I always want you to feel comfortable sharing your photos on Instagram and we will always work hard to foster and respect our community and go out of our way to support its rights.
Privacy Settings Nothing has changed about the control you have over who can see your photos. If you set your photos to private, Instagram only shares your photos with the people you’ve approved to follow you. We hope that this simple control makes it easy for everyone to decide what level of privacy makes sense.
I am grateful to everyone for their feedback and that we have a community that cares so much. We need to be clear about changes we make — this is our responsibility to you. One of the main reasons these documents don’t take effect immediately, but instead 30 days from now, is that we wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to raise any concerns. You’ve done that and are doing that, and that will help us provide the clarity you deserve. Thank you for your help in making sure that Instagram continues to thrive and be a community that we’re all proud of. Please stay tuned for updates coming soon.
Kevin Systrom co-founder, Instagram