I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook. I’ve seen it at least 30 times in my feed this morning.
“Oh no! Instagram changed their terms of service and they can now sell my photos!”
First off, I’m actually impressed that people are reading their Terms of Service. (Hey, you guys know Facebook pretty much owns all your stuff anyway, right?)
Here’s the new line in the TOS:
You agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you.
Here’s the thing – Facebook is already doing this to you. I can’t tell you how many times I look over in my right column and see that one of my friends has Liked a page or Purchased something, and it even shows their photo. The first time it happened it was jarring – did my friend give that company the right to use their profile photo? Well no. But we did give that right to Facebook to use in their sponsored posts.
That folks, is what Instagram can do. You’re not going to be seeing your cool photo on the side of a bus or denigrated at a bus stop beside a weeks-old movie poster. Instagram can’t change your photo, modify your photos, or drop their logo on it. In fact, as the Verge puts it:
Well, an advertiser can pay Instagram to display your photos in a way that doesn’t create anything new — so Budweiser can put up a box in the timeline that says “our favorite Instagram photos of this bar!” and put user photos in there.
Again, Facebook has already been doing this to you for months. Yet, we tend to eventually accept all that Facebook does to us because our worlds are often on Facebook.
Thanks to The Verge for clearing that up. Guess their news feed was overrun as well.
UPDATE: Instagram says “Thank you and we’re listening.” They’ll be re-wording their policy soon, so that the legalese is less confusing.