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Instagram Changes Terms of Use, Can Now Sell Photos to Advertisers

Those who use Instagram now have less control over how their photos are used, due to changes in the application’s terms of use.

Busy Days for Instagram

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become one of the most sought after photography apps, as can be seen by Facebook’s US$ 1 billion purchase of the company earlier this year. The app is not only a way for users to improve the look of and share their photos, but it has also started to become a social marketing tool. Despite its success, the app has started to run into a few problems; just last week, photos from Instagram stopped appearing on Twitter.

This week, the company unveiled new privacy policy and terms of use guidelines, which may lead to further problems.

Change of Ownership for Instagram Leads to Change of Ownership for Users

Instagram says its guidelines were long overdue for a change. This update is meant to reflect the company's change in ownership, while also increasing security so that users and their photos are protected from spam and other unwanted content. According to the company blog, Instagram also has more control over how photos are used:

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."

These changes mean that Instagram can now take photos from of its users and sell them to advertisers without notifying the user, giving them credit or paying them, despite saying that ownership of the photos remains the same as it was before this new policy was introduced.

Whether this decision proves to be the downfall of Instagram or not remains to be seen.

The changes take effect on January 16, 2013. Users have until that time to delete their account if they do not agree with this change.

 
 
 
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