Will Instagram’s New Policies Spell its Death?

Just when Instagram started becoming an essential tool for online and social media marketers, the enforcement of new policies could see it vanish into obscurity. As many social media experts are calling it, the new policies that come into effect from 16th January, 2013, could be Instagram’s “suicide note”. These terms and policies indicate that the business model of Instagram is changing. It is now making users the product instead of the service.

At the beginning of this year, Instagram was snapped up by social network giant – Facebook, for a whopping $1 billion. This raised a lot of concerns among Instagram users as they were worried Facebook management would implement privacy policies it uses on its social networking site in the photo-sharing service too. That time, Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook – assured users that there would be no changes made to Instagram. However, it seems like he has gone back on his word. New terms of Instagram states that the photo-sharing service can use uploaded images and share them with affiliates and advertisers. This means that users will now have no control over how their images will be used.

What are the new policies?

Come January 16, Instagram will be able to share any images you have uploaded after this date with their partners and online advertisers. Moreover, the terms also clearly state that the company may not always identify or disclose commercial communication, sponsored content or paid services, which means that you will not know something is an advert when you see it. What is more baffling is that there is no opt-out option. To get around these policies, you will have to delete your account.

The new policies get worse – another term states that Instagram may be paid by advertisers to display your username, photos, etc. in connection with sponsored content and you will not be compensated for it. Another new term states that the photo-sharing service is allowed to transfer information about you across borders to other countries where it or its affiliates have facilities.

Users flocking to Flickr

Not surprisingly, the new terms have angered many users. Many of them have already deleted their accounts and most of them have collected their data from the service using Recollect and Instaport. Many have also migrated back to another popular photo-sharing service – Flickr. Unlike Instagram, Flickr allows its users to have full control over their images and fully respects all the licenses users apply to their photos.

Read more about the new policies here.

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