Social Media

Instagram’s New Terms of Service is a Fail

I joined Instagram September of 2011 just so I could hold down the Luvvie username. Between then and July 2012, I had uploaded just 2 pictures, and one of them was of my socks in the “rise” filter. And then July happened and I went to LA and decided to start Instagramming more so I logged on and saw that I had 1,300 followers. Cool! Surely no one wants to put up pics and have 0 folks see them. Anyone who says they do is a LAH and they need to admit their narcissism.


Ennehweighs, fast-forward 5 months later and I have 169 pictures on my account. A bunch of them are pics of my shoe game and then the rest are random. I’ve since deleted that picture of my socks, because even though I was being sarcastic with that pic being my first one, it had to go.

But I’m finally a fan of the service. FINALLY. Until yesterday, when I heard about their new Terms of Services.

Facebook recently bought Instagram for a smooth $1 billion. And we all knew a change gon come. First, it was in the form of Instagram accounts being viewable online. I didn’t mind that. But we all knew they were gonna try to monetize it. We just didn’t know how, outside of ads. Well, now we know. Lemme lay out two of those CRAPPY ways.

Instagram can use your pictures for ads and not say they’re ads.

What does this mean? It means you can post a picture on your Instagram account and then see an ad using that picture on Instagram. And you can’t say a gahtdamb thing. It doesn’t matter if the picture is of your baby or anyone else.

“”You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive ROYALTY-FREE, sub-licensable, WORLDWIDE license to use the Content that you post.”

Who should be most concerned? EVERYONE. Parents, especially. It means that adorable picture of the apple of your eye can be used by Instagram. And everyone else? It means the things you capture for your friends to enjoy and laugh at can be used to hawk random crap that these folks deem fit. AND you might not even know.

No SMDH gif

That’s that ish I REALLY don’t like. But it gets worse.

Instagram can SELL your pictures without compensating you. 

Even beyond the ads within Instagram, your pictures can be sold to companies for their use in whatever commercials and ads they feel like it.

So all those pictures of shoes I’ve posted? They can be used for ads by the various shoe companies. Converse would have a field day with my doggone account. I’ve posted so many pics of my Chucks.

Who should be most concerned here? Everyone, obviously, but the folks who stand out to me are photographers, celebrities and even bloggers.

Photographers make a living off the images they capture. Posting them on Instagram is great to show off their work. If Instagram starts selling their pictures, they’re losing money by the droves. Instagram is basically making itself the new iStock Photo and those whose careers depend on being compensated for their images will be taken advantage of. NOT COOL.

And then celebrities. Their images are worth more than the rest of ours because as public figures, they get compensated for just being them. If a celebrity’s picture is taken while they’re rocking a name brand or are in a certain store, can that brand or store then pay Instagram to use that celeb’s image for their ads? Probably. And there will be hell to pay.

For bloggers, I can see this coming to bite us in the yansh too. All those brands who always want to pay us in “exposure” will have a field day here. If we post pictures of us using their products, they might be willing to pay Instagram for them instead of us. We will be saltier than the Pacific.

NO MA’AM! None of this is cool or fair. This is greed at its worse and we’re all being taken advantage of here by Instagram, and really by Facebook, which owns them. Mark SUCKerberg (yes, I’m 5 years old) and team are trying to make their investment back but this is an awful way to do it.

Instagram is basically saying “In exchange for your free use, we gon sell ALL your shit, not give you money for it and you can’t e’em do nothing about it. You mad? Delete your account.”

Well, folks might have to do that.

Instagram might have jumped the shark and I expect a lotta people will be jumping ship. I was really starting to like it too. And then they’re gonna go and do this to us. I haz the disappointments.

Tyra Rooting For You gif

HOW DARE THEY??? I’m not ok with these changes. Because they’re crappy and terrible. And they’re leading us all to an era where we will have no control over any of the content we ever put up. And that’s not even remotely fine.

If you do choose to leave, backup your pictures first using or

So what are your thoughts? Are you gonna be deleting your account or sticking with Instagram? Talk to a G.

I won’t be deleting my account yet. I wanna see how this will play out. But in the meantime, I might be better and put up nothing but tweegrams lol.

Here’s other pieces you can read for more info on this Terms of Service-Gate:

Instagram’s New Changes Are Causing Some Users To Say Buh-Bye! – Divas & Dorks

Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos – CNET

What Instagram’s New Terms of Service Mean for You – NYTimes

Edit: Instagram heard folks loud and clear, and they’ve written a blog response on what these new TOS REALLY mean. Apparently, their legalese was terrible and led to wrong interpretation by, well, everyone. Read Thank you, and we’re listening on the Instagram blog. This is their “OOPS! We fucked up!” post.

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  1. December 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I will be putting text on all of my pictures on facebook from now on, and I just started using instagram so i’ma just stop!!

  2. Tiffany A
    December 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Boop, Boop, Backspace, Delete…That is what is about to happen. They will not sell pictures of my kids. That is Vaseline and doo-rag worthy. I prefer editing my pics on PicMonkey anyway so not a huge loss. Maybe we will see less pics of Chris Brown and Rihanna now though…

  3. kisha
    December 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    on finding this out i am not going to be using it to take pics of me or my children. still tons of interesting things to take pics of like food!

  4. cor3na
    December 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    1st again! yay!

    n-t-ways…. i originally got on the instagram to use the filters to edit my phone/ipod photos & JUST started using it for the social stuffs… me thinks ima just NOT add my pics & still use the sight to lurk…

    negros n hoes gone be on there “in protest” still -___-

    • cor3na
      December 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      or close enough… lol

    • cor3na
      December 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      … also site**

  5. December 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    First, the Tyra gif is everything to me!

    Secondly, I’m going to have to bounce off of Instagram because I take a lot of pics of my boys and ain’t nobody making money off of them. I think IG is all kinds of wrong for this move or I guess Zuckerburg is, but he should know that IG isn’t as ubiquitous as FB and people aren’t going to take it like they’ve taken some of the FB changes.

  6. December 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Since I don’t post pics of myself on there and just those of ratchets doing ratchet shit, I just might stay….

    • Jennifer
      December 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      What’s your instagram name Ms. Kay? I follow you everywhere else so makes sense to follow you there too. Gonna go all fan girl right now and say I love your ish! Lol

      • December 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm

        It’s: i_love_ratchet

  7. KemaB
    December 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I too just wanted to have my user name joined like a month ago and habe no problem deactivating my account cause you about to use my likeness and not compensate me in the immortal words of dollar bill F*k that pay me hope everyone does the same

  8. Nancy
    December 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I’m either deleting all of my personal pics or deleting my entire account. This is an invasion of privacy. Instagram has lost its groove ever since facebook bought it.

  9. shadgg02
    December 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve already deleted….gone in the middle of the night. plus all the pics I took, I never used the shitty in-app camera. took my photos separate then pulled from camera roll.
    I was already losing interest in IG, this gave me a reason to bounce.

  10. December 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    The thing that really got me was the portion that said they had the right to use images from private accounts and if they decided to do so you can’t sue them for it. Like REALLY? I mean Facebook has pretty active support team so I know the task force they’re amassing to monitor popular images, # of likes and tags will be serious. Just about anybody can buy you image, even the seemingly mundane photos and use it for whatever. Instagram done got to big for it’s britches. I don’t want my face photoshopped onto somebody who’s “sharing their blessings” for some random site!!

  11. December 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I am slowly losing interest in anything beyond my blog and Twitter. I will likely delete my Instagram account (how would watermarking work? Most are easy enough to remove, right?), search for a new space or either simply stop it with the public photos outside of my blog. I mean, if people follow me there, maybe they’d come to the blog for photos? So basically, iono.

  12. December 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    yep. I’m out. I will be gone before the new terms of service rolls out. They cant think this is a good thing but you know so many will not care. I am off to using EyeEm a much smaller company and whose privacy policy is to never sell your images without your permission.
    I understand people have to make money but you cant screw over the content providers. Instagram is nothing without the users!

  13. MissMe
    December 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I have been reading articles that are saying that Instagram and whomever they sell the images to cannot alter your photos in any way or slap logos on them… BIG FUCKING DEAL… So you can take my stuff, and just because you don’t alter it that means I should be cool with you being compensated for something that I did??? I barely use IG but I was thinking about using it more, but NOW, oh no baby, DELETE!

  14. Nicole
    December 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I just recently joined Instagram and was excited to have a place to share cool pics of my kids, among other things. I chose to make my account private because I don’t want every Tom, Dick, and Harry having access to pictures of my daughters. That said, I’m going to wait and see what happens as we get closer to that January 16th roll-out date. I thought the change only applied to public accounts, but I could be wrong. If they are hell bent on selling the pics on private accounts too, then I’ll either have to delete my account altogether, or delete my photos. I was really starting to enjoy IG too.

  15. Zakiya
    December 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you for the info Luvvie. They are really trippin’ with that. I hope enough people delete their accounts to make a difference. I know I deleted MINE. No freebies HERE.

  16. emti
    December 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you for the info Luvvie…will likely delete my account which sucks because I really liked instagram

  17. December 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I am still pondering. I really like being able to post to different services at one shot. But I am seriously considering deleting.

    Selling my pictures, my work (however crappy it may be) is just too much.

    I’m looking at a New Year’s deletion date.

  18. Kate
    December 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Seriously, this would be like someone saying “You can rent this apartment for free, but if you furnish it with anything I like or my friends like I’ve got the right to sell it in a heartbeat and not share any of the profits with you. But…hey…free rent, right?” Nah, Instagram. All set. I’ll keep my pictures to myself, but you can see yourself on out with a Ctrl+Alt+Del. Bye bye now.

  19. Jasmine
    December 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    You could always put a stank watermark on all your pics? Facebook and everything it touches continues to suck. Just when you get used to something, inevitably Facebook ups and changes it, giving me a big ol headache.

    • December 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      FB is horrible isn’t it? I can’t even remember the last time I was on there. If it wasn’t for family I wouldn’t even bother. That’s why I’m all about the Google+ life…an G+ should be bigger than what it is but that invite only mess they started with messed them up I think…it could be bigger than BF (well it SHOULD anyway lol)

  20. December 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    That new policy is whack. I love me some IG but quite frankly the service is usually subpar. Most times it won’t load pictures or post comments #FAIL I will delete all of my photos they will not be making money off my property. No ma’am! If I do keep my account they will be watermarked so thoro that they won’t be able to use the pics. Instagram can have several of these _/ _/ _/

  21. Divakattgoddess
    December 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    They have made changes ”clarifying” their terms if service!!

  22. Holly
    December 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Sometimes I think we need to send a clear message and spank these bad boys who think we are all stupid. I immediately deleted my account– I can share my images in other ways and figure out where the tide is taking my friends who share images are going. Mr. Suckerburg (tee hee) must think we are all suckers.

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