Dec 18


We knew something big was going to happen when Facebook announced three months ago that they have purchased Instagram. A lot of users however, did not expect this drastic policy shift.

Beginning January 16, Facebook “claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency” (CNET). This means that Facebook won’t have to pay you anything to use your images. If for say, you took a splendid image of a restaurant, and that restaurant decides that they’d like to use that image for advertising purposes, they pay Facebook and not you.

CNET also makes another great point, stating that this policy could “trigger state privacy laws” if the photos that Facebook sells contain images of young children without obtaining parental consent.

When did all this conflict arise? When Facebook added two new sections to Instagram’s terms of use policy. One section no longer includes the phrase “limited license” and instead uses words such as “transferable” and “sub-licensable” (CNET). Another key section that has been added states that “a business or other entity may pay us to display your… photos… in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.” Facebook has not yet made a public statement addressing whether or not they will be monetizing photos taken by Instagram users. However, these new additions to the Instagram terms of use clearly brings about some concern.

Are you going to delete your Instagram account? If so, make sure to do it before January 16, 2013 because after that date, this new policy becomes effective and Facebook will have the right to sell your images without providing you with any compensation whatsoever.

What do you think will happen to Instagram? Will another version of the app arise? Will it be cloned, altered, completely erased? Or will Facebook create their own photo sharing app? Hm, the possibilities. Check out more details about this issue at CNET News and The New York Times.