Time to Read Those Terms of Service

Image via Wall Street Journal

Today a lot of people, understandably, got upset over the updated Instagram Terms of Service. Specifically this section (Rights point 2 & 3):

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. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

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

Now, I believe this is in reference to a Sponsored Story or Promoted Post/Tweet/Trend style advert that will sit within the photo based social network. This would fit with its parent company’s current style of advertising. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Instagram images appearing on the side of buses, in TV, YouTube or banner ads across the web…however it is certainly open enough to allow that. Perhaps this is intended to allow for a fire hose type deal with brands and developers like the one that Twitter offers. I have seen Tweets used everywhere and I’m pretty sure the Tweeters weren’t notified, a fact perhaps more people need to think about (and when you read the Twitter ToS below you will realise just how similar they are).

This isn’t really the point though. People are upset because they love Instagram, it was the social network that allowed them to express themselves (whether artistically or not) through images and wasn’t one of the big tech corporations who people have recently been finding it harder to trust. Now with this change in the ToS (that will come into affect on January 16th 2013) the ball has dropped that now Instagram is truly part of Facebook and is mixing it up with the likes of Twitter etc.

On a further note Instagram still makes it clear that you own your content.

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