I have to admit that few tech businesses, apps or hardware manufacturers can get under my skin with TOS changes... I expect free services/apps to do what has become somewhat the norm, but with Instagram, I've really come to enjoy using the service and I'm pretty annoyed with them right now. I mean, this isn't much of a surprise considering that Facebook bought the company, but still, color me glum.
The interwebz are up in arms over an update to Instagram's Terms of Service, and they should be. The offending change to the "Terms of Service" comes in the form of some updates to the verbiage but the most compelling for users are these:
"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. "
What does all of that mean... I'm no intellectual property attorney but it would appear that by using the service, you are acknowledging that you accept these terms of service which allows Instagram/Facebook to use your photos/likeness to make money, but they don't have to pay you- even if you're a minor. Now as I've stated before, there's no such thing as a free lunch and you are in fact using a free service which has to make money somehow. It is for that reason and that reason alone that I spare the company any venomous words here, but I won't be using the service to post photos any longer and will "liberate" my content prior to the execution date of this updated TOS which is January 16th.
Fear not friends of Fox, there are alternatives! You can check them out here:
To "liberate" your photos, you can use one of these two services which will allow you to download all of your pics as a .zip file:
Both sites/services are moving REAL slow right now because, it would appear, that so many people are using them to get to their content. Now if you choose to stay on board, there are apps you can use which will allow you to slap a nice, large "watermark" on your photos which would make it difficult for Instagram to use your photos. You can check out apps like the iOS app iWatermark and the Android app AW (Add Watermark).
What do you think about Instagram's update to its Terms of Service? Let us know in the comments below!