Instagram Reverts Terms of Service

Last week, Instagram created a furor with their announcement of a change in their policy.

I’ll let articles like the one at PopPhoto explain to you the problem. To sum it up – users think that with the new policy, they lose rights to their photos, and that Instagram will be able to use any of their photos for any purpose, without having to credit them (the people who took the photos) nor pay them any fee for the image used.

Why is this a problem?

There are many opinions regarding this matter. I’ve posted many thoughts and had some discussion over Facebook (shame on you if you haven’t liked my page or saw what I posted / tweeted ๐Ÿ˜› haha)

My take is that
1. Most photos are common, and they lack commercial value. People are just over-reacting thinking that their photos will sell like hot cakes and they’ll lose out.

2. Some are afraid that their camwhore (photo of self) images might be used for things they disagree with, or activities that they’re ashamed of. For example, a Christian’s photo on a Muslim campaign. Or a man’s face on Mail Order Brides advertisement.

3. Even though the photos aren’t great in quality and such (for the most part) – people who took the photos are rightful owners of the photos, regardless whether or not Instagram is provided the service for free.

After receiving a barrage of messages expressing anger, disappointment and lost of faith – Instagram finally reverted to the old policy.

Updated Terms of Service Based on Your Feedback

Earlier this week, we introduced a set of updates to our privacy policy and terms of service to help our users better understand our service. In the days since, it became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities รขโ‚ฌโ€œ to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right.

The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.

Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010.

It’s a good thing. At least reverting to the old policy means “all things are back to normal”.

From my observation through the whole debacle, I see that the Instagram users – many of them really think too highly or optimistic of their photos, some decided to transfer their photos to some other service providers, and on the extreme side – some even deleted their accounts. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lesson? When unclear – wait. Seek clarification. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s just too bad if people act in haste and delete their account.

On a similar note : I’ve liked nor used Instagram because I got annoyed by people who hashtag their Instagram photos as if it’s some stock photo. Damn attention seekers. ๐Ÿ˜› Furthermore a perfectly nice scene is often distorted with filters (I love the true color of the scene). Let’s face it, Instagram is most often used to make a lousy photo look artsy, upping the decency level.

Ever since the policy-change furor, I decided to give Instagram a go. ๐Ÿ™‚ goldfries’ Instagram!!! – Don’t worry, I don’t spam my Facebook nor Twitter page with images of traffic jam, feet at beach, sunset, wing of plane, coffee foam all these common stuff. You won’t have to worry about hashtag spamming either. ๐Ÿ˜›

Here’s an Instagram Parody for you.