Instagram's New Terms

Two weeks ago Instagram updated its terms of service, and my first thought was "Get ready for a big stink." Well, the pervasive odor spread a lot faster than even I expected, and within hours Instagram had "clarified" (i.e. rescinded) some of the more odious parts of the terms, which included the right for the company to sell photos uploaded via its service to third-party advertisers. You can argue about whether it’s a small price to pay for using a free service, or a malicious rights grab, but either way it’s interesting to watch the saga unfold. If you’re interested in bailing out, there’s a link below to a CNet story on backing up your photos and closing your Instagram account. I’ve also linked to a CNN Money article about the initial hubbub, as well as Instagram’s official response via the company blog. Also included is a link to a Poynter story that points out that the terms have always included this right, so we don’t need to be all up in arms about the new "broader" terms. Either way, it looks like Instagram isn’t going to stick users with quite so bad a deal as was initially feared. But it does serve as a reminder to read the fine print when you go uploading your photos online. You may be giving up some rights you’re not comfortable with.

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