Millions of Instagram users were outraged last year when they had announced that the social photo sharing network would be selling their users pictures for use in adverts. Having been bought my Facebook last year, the company has updated it terms and conditions so that it now has control over the rights to any of the images uploaded by its users. In short this means photos and comments can be sold to other businesses, however users pockets will not benefit.
Users can delete their accounts by January 16th 2013, there is no other way to opt out of the new policy. Some users have taken to rival Twitter to express their opinions on the matter, which are generally negative toward the decision. Instagram was bought by Facebook last April for £430million, it appeared to be a good investment as it has since released Apps on other platforms to surpass Twitter users, with over 30million people uploading 5million images every 24hours. From a business perspective it makes sense for Instagram, where ‘you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos and/or actions you take (…) without any compensation to you.’ At first that would seem rather dramatic, however as a free photo sharing service it needs to have some way of generation the funds to keep it online without users having to pay.
Depending on the individuals use of Instagram these new policies could change the way people use the service. Photographers who make money from their images as a profession have planned to close their accounts, stating ‘it’s supposed to be a social exchange between people’ and ‘for a company to come in and make profit from’ users ‘content without’ their ‘permission is shocking.’ Of course ‘it is inevitable that people will speculate about the most extreme scenarios’ where their personal photos and shots will be sold and published in the public eye and their sense of privacy will be lost. However it is highly unlikely that peoples faces will be sold, media lawyer have warned that Instagram could face privacy and data protection if it sold images of people without their permission. Therefore it’s most likely that you will find the odd picture of a filtered scene or someone’s cute pet being used, although there will be some users that will be unhappy with this and those whom are professional photographers will be the most displeased.