News Column

Your Instagram Photo Might End Up in an Ad

Dec 18, 2012

Otis Gowens

Instagram privacy

Instagram, whose parent company is Facebook, released an updated version of its privacy policy that's gotten quite a bit of backlash from users. The brouhaha is over how photos will be used.

The New York Times was the first outlet to report on this.

From USA TODAY: "Initially, Instagram's privacy policy update seemed innocent enough: make sharing data with its new owner Facebook easier while fighting spam and other unenjoyable stuff for users.

"But new details on its revised Terms of Use suggest Instagram may start pulling user photos and incorporating them into ads -- without pay."

"To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata) on your behalf." (Instagram Terms of Use)

Kashmir Hill, over at, raises a good point: Uh, aren't most grams ALREADY ads? "It's almost flattering: your grams are worth paying for. You are as good a photographer as you imagine yourself to be as you take that smartphone snap and choose the perfect filter to highlight the exquisite texture of the home-whipped cream you just applied to your bounty of winter fruits. It's just that you're not the one who gets paid for the right to use the photo.

If this sounds familiar, it's because it's a page from the Facebook book. It sounds like Instagram is planning something along the lines of "Sponsored Stories." So if you go into a business and gram your experience, the business can use the gram in ads, probably targeted at your friends to encourage them to do the same."

What do you think about this?

Source: (c)2012 Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters