Instagram Plans to Make Money Off Your Photos


Posted on: December 18th, 2012 by ABC News No Comments

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Instagram, the popular service for sharing and filtering photos shot on phones, has now released changes to its Terms of Use, which will go into effect on Jan. 16, 2013 for all users.

It’s Instagram’s first big policy change since it was acquired by Facebook in April.

“Our community has grown a lot since we wrote our original terms of service. To get things up to date for the millions of people now using Instagram, we’re bringing you new versions of our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service,” Instagram wrote on its blog.

It pointed out a few updates, including the fact that it’s not changing anything regarding who can see your photos or who owns them and that it’s now sharing its systems with Facebook so it can fight spam better.

But it didn’t mention something that’s in the fine print.

Your Photos Can Be Used By Others
“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, available here: http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.”

The legalese goes on. “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.” (You can read the full Terms of Service here.)

If you read that carefully you’ll understand that Instagram doesn’t “own” your content, but it can license your photos to other companies. If it wanted, it says in effect, it could sell your photos to advertisers or other firms.

Another major change? Advertising. “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.”

Much of the wording and the general message is the same as Facebook’s Terms of Service. Facebook and Instagram did not return ABC News’ request for comment on the new changes.

There’s no way to opt out of the new terms — the only way to avoid it is to delete your account. Luckily for those who choose that option, there are now many new apps trying to compete with Instagram, including ones from Twitter and Flickr. Last week both companies announced updates to their apps, which now include photo filter options.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio



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