Yes, Instagram issued a change to its Term of Service and privacy set to go into effect in January, and included language that sounded like they had the right to both sell and profit from YOUR photos without your approval and without you getting a penny of money from it.
Here’s what it said.
“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.”
Yep, it sucked. Then, of course, the internet promptly freaked out, and tons of folks deleted their accounts, and Instagram naturally back pedaled. Here’s what the founder Kevin Systrom said yesterday.
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.
He then went on to say:
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.
So, I’m sticking with Instagram for now. How about you?