“Your photos will remain yours and yours only!” —Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, November 2010
Some cultures believe that being photographed steals your soul.
Thanks to Instagram’s much-chagrined update to their Terms of Service on Monday, that mystic belief is now closer to reality.
When the app that’s used by over seven million people every day was bought by Facebook earlier this year, some began rending their garments in preparation of the impending doom that faced the photo-sharing app now that it was under the control of the biggest brother of them all. With the update to its Terms of Service, which go into effect January 16th, this might be the app’s swan song, or “suicide note,” as one popular user dubbed the changes. Many users upset by the legal changes and infringement on creative property with no compensation are threatening a mass exodus, or have already done so.
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.
John C Welch of the Angry Mac Bastard podcast distilled the business plan of most applications or social media based companies to this:
When using a service, ask yourself two questions:
1) How am I paying for this
2) What’s the product
If the answer to 1 is “nothing”, then the answer to 2 tends to be “you”.
The new TofS aren’t retroactive. Instagram has no authority over any media you produced prior to January 16. Even under the new changes you still retain full copyright so get out while you can.
UPDATE: Instagram says it will revise a planned update to its service agreement after confusion about its intent led to widespread user complaints. At issue is whether users’ photos can be part of advertisements, on and off Instagram. The mobile photo-sharing company said in a blog post Tuesday that it has no plans to put users’ photos in advertisements.
While we’re at it, here’s just a few of the 20 most awful photos on Instagram. I’m sure those tech higher ups wish they had access to these sweet pics.