Instagram is an app-turned-worldwide phenomenon that enables users to quickly snap a picture and share it with all their friends. They were bought up earlier this year by Facebook, and since then there has been an uneasiness of privacy concerns regarding people’s photos. Many users became upset when Instagram released new policy changes that included language that implied that Instagram claimed rights to all the photos that users posted, and even had the ability to sell their photos without the users consent.
However, the co-founder and owner of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, stated the following in a blog post earlier today:
Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. We respect that your photos are your photos. Period.
So any immediate concerns can be put at rest, however, Systrom does go on to say that:
From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos.
Meaning it may well be that your photos could play in to some sort of advertising deal in the future on Instagram. It looks as though they are trying to make it clear that they have no aims on selling your photos. The blog post goes on to suggest that the advertising they speak of could be simply showing your friends which brands you follow, a practice already employed by Facebook.
One thing that Instagram is lacking in, however, that Facebook has been bashed for in the past, is extensive privacy controls. Facebook allows you to have careful control over who and what can see every piece of information that you share on their site, and for the most part users are happy with it. Some people will always want stricter privacy, but at a certain point, why even have a social networking account if you do not want to post personal info.
Since Facebook owns Instagram now, it seems as though its time to get around to giving users some extensive privacy settings for their account and photos. With the addition of web profiles, Instagram has a perfectly usable portal to access and edit whatever account details they might want to, so it is on them to put users at ease.
Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below. Do you think Instagram should have the right to broadcast which brands you follow?