The Beginning Of The End?

Recently, Instagram announced new Terms of Use that might scare away a great many users… myself included. You all know I love IG and while I’ve had a great time with the app – and have written about how the app should be used – I find their new terms of use absolutely frightening. The New York Times tech blog ‘Bits’ has a more expansive write up on this but here are the things that scare me the most.

1. Not Only Can IG Share Information About You With Facebook (its parent company) But Also With Outside Entities

There may be links from the Service, or from communications you receive from the Service, to third-party web sites or features. There may also be links to third-party web sites or features in images or comments within the Service. The Service also includes third-party content that we do not control, maintain or endorse. Functionality on the Service may also permit interactions between the Service and a third-party web site or feature, including applications that connect the Service or your profile on the Service with a third-party web site or feature.

You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.

You know how Facebook kinda sucks now because of all the ads that appear interspersed throughout your newsfeed… yeah, get ready for that or something to that effect on IG. Imagine scrolling through all of your friends recently updated pictures and finding a random fake IG update from Pepsi or Chick fil A.

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2. You Own Your Pictures – Sort Of – But So Does Instagram – Sort Of

Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Yup – you read that right. Instagram can officially take any photo you upload and use it however they see fit. Imagine watching the superbowl this year and seeing an ad where that awesome picture you took with your homies is featured prominently. By using IG after Jan. 16 – you’re essentially granting them license to do anything they want with the pictures you upload after that point. What if you’re a photographer who uploads their pics to Instagram to show people how awesome a photographer you are. Imagine IG using your one of a kind stuff with no attribution and without you receiving a single dime. Kinda sucks.

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3. Only Way Around These Terms Of Use Is To Not Use Instagram

As the New York Times writes in Bits:

“The only way to opt out of the new Instagram terms is to not use the service. If you log into Instagram in any way, including through the Web site, mobile applications or any other services offered by Instagram, you agree to have your content used in ads. Instagram’s new terms of service say that ‘by accessing or using the Instagram website, the Instagram service, or any applications (including mobile applications) made available by Instagram (together, the “Service”), however accessed, you agree to be bound by these terms of use.'”

So what say you my fellow IG addicts? You planning to stick with the site or move on to the next big thing is social media – whatever that might be?

Not as low… but still firing