Instagram’s New Policies and How to Combat Them

December 18th, 2012

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*Update: Since this article was posted, Instagram has addressed the new terms of service by saying that selling its users’ photos was not meant by the language of the agreement. The legal jargon was confusing, so Instagram says the company is going to reevaluate and reword that part. 

The buzz is everywhere online today: Could Facebook have sentenced Instagram to death with these new policies they’ve put in place? As a new user to Instagram, I am devastated. I’m not exaggerating when I say eighty-five-percent of my excitement over making the switch to a smartphone was that I’d finally be able to use Instagram. But now that Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, will reserve the right to sell your photos without your consent and without compensation, a lot of users have been threatening to quit using the popular app.

Going back to a recent post I wrote about where to find free photos for your blog legally, I believe it’s a common courtesy that  if someone wants to use your picture, he or she needs to pay for that photo. If you want to offer the photo for free, it should still be credited to you. But Instagram’s new policies won’t allow either of those common courtesies, so imagine your surprise when someday in the future, you recognize one of your Instagram photos on another company’s ad campaign. As one Instagram user I saw say, “It will be like a stock photo goldmine for companies.”

So . . . now the question is what are its users going to do? How can they combat these new Instagram privacy policies? Right now, there only seem to be two viable options (for me): either watermark your photos and hope a possible buyer won’t want to mess with removing it, or quit using the app and find another similar one. Here’s a great list of possible watermark apps you might want to use if you continue to use Instagram after January 16, when the new policies take effect. Also, be sure to take a look at this list of possible Instagram substitutes (and read what Forbes has to say about the changes because they say it perfectly).

The other option is to pray that Instagram sees the stupidity of this move. Let’s hope that happens and they’ll renege these new policies.

Are you going to stop using Instagram now that this news has hit? If not, how do you plan on getting around the new privacy policies?


Caitlin Israel

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Caitlin (Chick Incubator) works as Litfuse’s director of operations. When she isn’t blogging or on Twitter, she’s at her local coffee shop with her Kindle Fire, browsing Pinterest and reading. @remixher

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