UPDATE: Instagram has obviously felt the heat and have decided to re-write some sections of their new Terms of Service, as noted on this blog post just now. Of particular note is the following quote:
“The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.”
Well, that didn’t take long. I’ve been using Instagram for a few months, mainly because everyone else was, though it was also handy for publishing photos to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at the same time (it’s a shame it doesn’t also do Google+). But a couple of changes in the last few days have resulted in me deleting my Instagram account (and I don’t miss it).
A few days back, Instagram stopped supporting Twitter cards, and then Instagram images stopped showing up in the Twitter stream. The reason for this? Instagram wanted to drive more direct traffic to their site. This was the first blow – I use Twitter all the time, and it was nice to be able to see the Instagram images in-line without having to click on a link to another website.
The second (and final, for me) blow was the update in their Terms of Service. As part of the update, Instagram say that they can display “promoted” pictures without identifying them as promoted. No thanks. I get enough ads already, but at least on other sites like Facebook and Twitter they’re identified as being “promoted. What’s even worse though is that your photos (including photos of you) may be used in an advertisement without your knowledge (that includes underage users)! Keep in mind that many of the new Terms of Service already exist on Facebook, but in my mind Facebook does a lot more for me than Instagram.
Direct from their new Terms of Service:
“…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.”
So long, Instagram. I guess I’ll just have to post pictures of my lunch on Twitter instead.
(Update: if you want to download all your Instagram photos and then delete your account, Wired has a good article on how to do just that)