Clarification of Instagram’s T&C’s

Instagram's LogoEarlier this week I’m sure most people heard about Instagram’s new terms and conditions document being released. The short of its legal rambling nature, it sounded like they’re legally preparing themselves to be able to sell your photos, without your consent or a penny of compensation.

Well at 10pm on the 18th of December, they updated their blog attempting to clarify a few things.

Instagram’s statement on selling our photos

…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. – Instagram’s Blog 19th December

Well that clears something up I suppose. Apparently they’re not going to be flogging my pictures of blurry Christmas trees or coffee cups. That’s a good thing for us all!

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.

Okay, some good clarification here too. So we’re likely to get a new refined version of the T&C’s soon without certain paragraphs included.

Photo Privacy

Many people, especially on Twitter, have been complaining that their private images from weddings, children’s party’s, etc. are going to exposed to the world thanks to Instagrams need for advertisement. Parents are rightly worried, if they uploaded them in the knowledge that their children’s image would be protected this seems like a massive breach of trust.

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.

Well, when I read that they’re keeping sharing options basic for our “simple control” I actually find myself believing them. If this was on Facebook’s or Twitter’s blog I think I’d be less believing.

Photo Ownership

This is a big one, because even if they say they’re not going to sell your photo, it doesn’t take much cropping or tweaking to make it a new ‘image’ that they can sell.

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.

Wow, it’s almost refreshing to hear a big social media company coming out in plain English saying we ownership over something.

More to come…

I’m sure this isn’t going to settle everyone’s nerves and the exodus may have already started, but it’s a great first response and clarification from a massive company regarding a very sensitive subject.

The word’s quoted above are from Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom on their blog. I’d definitely recommend you read Instagram’s response on its term’s and condition’s yourself, don’t just take my word for it.

As a regular casual uploader to their system this settle’s my nerves a bit, but how does it make you feel?

Please leave a comment below and help keep others informed too.

2 thoughts on “Clarification of Instagram’s T&C’s

  1. You know what, I know these services need to pay their way – you can’t run ’em for free, so advertising is necessary. But advertising gets in the way and makes the services less useful. Facebook is so cluttered full of junk now that people and orgs can promote stuff that it just doesn’t work for me as a tool for communicating with friends. Instagram will go the same way – the stuff I want to see will be harder to spot because of the stuff that I don’t want to see. So regardless of whether or not Instagram will “sell” my photos or use them in advertising, it’s heading towards being a service that doesn’t work for me.

    If Instagram offered a premium/freemium model (pay us $10/year and we’ll not send you any promoted stuff) then I might take it up. I don’t understand why more companies don’t do this.

    1. Yeah the freemium model doesn’t seem to be used in many places but I reckon it’d solve so many complaints about adverts/forced content. I’d happily pay £10 for things like Facebook if it removed all adverts and promoted stuff. I suppose it’s down to share holders or alike, why risk denting their profit margins, people aren’t going to stop using these services in droves (not yet anyway).
      How about we create a whole new kind of social media Ross, one for the people by the people… 😉

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