Instagram Can Sell Users’ Pictures For Ads Beginning January 16, Company Clarifies

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As if last week’s news of Instagram phasing itself off of Twitter news feeds weren’t enough, now the photo sharing social media site says that beginning January 1, if can sell the photos you take. Thanks to their new terms of service, it states that Instagram will have the ability to sell users photos for ads.

The exact wording is a little more complicated: “A business or other entity may pay” Instagram to display their users’ photos and other details “in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.” Also, this pertains to all IG users, even those under 18. “If you are under the age of eighteen …. you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision.”

So, is there a way you can opt out of this? Like the many privacy settings Facebook sets where you can change to your liking? Not exactly. The only way you can get out of this is to delete your Instagram account. This is a vast change from their current terms and service which simply state “Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content.” Also, the terms of service state that photos are “sub-licensable” which means they could sell photos of your nail art to a nail polish company, which could then use it for a potential ad. (Completely hypothetical).

However, the company posted this on their blog, after an outpouring of concern over the matter. They claim, “It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos.” Read the full statement over on their site.

Does this change your view of Instagram? Are you going to be more careful about what you post? Or does this make you want to get rid of it all together? Start the conversation in the comments.

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