Sparking controversy among many of its users like most major policy changes do, Instagram has updated its own with a key stipulation that is frustrating many people: Instagram (mainly Facebook, since Instagram is under Facebook ownership) has the right to license your photos to other companies for any purpose, e.g. advertising.
Basically, all Instagram photos are essentially becoming stock photos. A company can buy one of your Instagram photos from Instagram to paste on a gigantic highway billboard if it wanted to. You don’t get a cent of that money either. Oh and guess what? These changes go in effect January 16, 2013 and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it if you want to continue using Instagram.
Users, of course, are outraged. I’d be surprised if Instagram didn’t see the backlash coming. Some are just downright annoyed, some are worried about their privacy, and some are planning to quit using the service. (Honestly though, when any website makes policy changes, people say they will quit and no one ever does.)
This also rekindles the long debate regarding whether more people should be willing to pay for apps. Instagram, a free app with no ads, has to make money somehow even if its not directly from its users. Paid apps, on the other hand, almost always profit from what people pay to use them. There’s no shady business going on in the background.
How do you feel about these policy changes? Do you think it will lead you to quit Instagram altogether? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.