Instagram Changes = Mayan Apocalypse [Updated]

instagramSince my previous post in which I sigh resignedly at the further encroachment on our privacy and information, as exemplified by Instagram’s full integration into Facebook and its accompanying policy changes, several folks have commented or tweeted that it really is something to be spooked about. It also seems to be the accepted wisdom of the tech blogosphere. As John Gruber put it, “Just awful.” (Gruber does not use Facebook, for what it’s worth.)
Okay, I’ll bite. I am certainly not happy about the changes and what they declare they’ll be able to do with my data and content, but it didn’t surprise me. I have more or less come to terms with the idea that the free use of these super-platforms means exposing some of my information to the owners so they can show me more effective ads. But am I underestimating the, well, what’s the word…danger? Threat?

So what is the big worry you have? I’m not a big blog-comments guy, but I’ll be interested to read what you folks think: what’s the Worst Case Scenario implied by the changes coming to Instagram? If you think folks should abandon the platform, why specifically?

Have at.

Update: Just for the record, I guess, Flickr makes sure NYT’s Nick Bilton knows where they stand:

Update 2: The Verge throws cold water on the panic:

First, like every other company on the web that stores user data, Instagram has always had an expansive license to use and copy your photos. It has to — that’s how it runs its networks of servers around the world. And Instagram’s existing terms specifically give the company the right to “place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content.” Instagram has always had the right to use your photos in ads, almost any way it wants. We could have had exact same freakout last week, or a year ago, or the day Instagram launched.

6 thoughts on “Instagram Changes = Mayan Apocalypse [Updated]”

  1. Well, that’s true, but kind of a sneaky poke at Instagram. According to the new Instagram Terms of Service: “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”.
    I believe the term is “a distinction without a difference”.
    (Note: I’m a big plan of Flickr, not trying to smack them down here.)


    1. So in other words, they don’t “own” your content — you can still do whatever you want with it without Instagram being involved — but they are “licensed” to use it however they see fit as well. Yes?


      1. Breaking it down:

        Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service.

        You keep your copyrights on your content.

        Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive,

        You’re giving Instagram a license to use, but you retain the right to license your content to others.

        fully paid and royalty-free,

        Instagram does not owe you money for using your content in advertising or providing the service.

        transferable, sub-licensable,

        Instagram needs to be able to not worry about licensing when working with business partners to provide its service to you.


        Because the internet is global.

        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…

        Instagram won’t use private account content for public ads, though they may still use them for ads aimed at your friends.
        I think the real issue here is whether or not you free okay with getting a free photo sharing service in exchange for the service owner selling your photos as advertising.
        Also this part may violate FTC disclosure rules:

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


  2. Yeah, I dunno, it’s possibly because FB is touching it (whatever the hell Instagram is), and FB changes its TOS/EULA constantly, has horrible contact and support channels, and also is the devil apparently. probably describes a good source of the sudden angst.
    I suppose a lot of it is emotionally based, with anti-mega-corp flavorings, but I don’t know the particular culture which is having the fits here. (Is there heavy overlap between user bases?) Could be lots of things.
    No, no more threatening than FB already was, I expect. Just bigger and, uh, douchier.


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