Instagram Slammed: A Cautionary Tale
Jan 18, 2013
Just because you can vary your Terms and Conditions, doesn’t mean you should.
[caption id="attachment_3345" align="alignright" width="247"] Photo taken from Author’s own Instagram account. All rights (hopefully) reserved.[/caption]
“You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos . . . and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
"You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such…”
These represented a significant expansion of Instagram’s rights (and the second has been labelled as legally questionable under English law). The response from users was swift, angry and quickly went viral. They rallied against the changes and high profile users picked up the cause - even celebrity juggernaut and most popular Instagrammer Kim Kardashian was reported to be considering quitting the service. Instagram attempted to play down the changes (saying they failed to communicate their intentions clearly) but arguably the damage was done. Wired.co.uk now reports that Instagram has lost around half of its daily users in less than a month – a steady decline following the immediate dip which accompanied the announcement:
Where to now for Instagram?
Co-founder Kevin Systrom has stated “Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did”. Now Instagram has released yet another revised version of its Terms, ‘based on your feedback’. This version is greatly expanded but ditches most of the controversial language (though we note the ‘we may not identify paid services’ disclaimer remains). On Intellectual Property / exploitation rights, the key section reads: