Instagram “Listens” To User Outrage Over Policy And Promises Not To Be Dicks

Sometimes getting pissed off can do the trick, especially when millions of “users,” or the “products,” start bitching. As user/products, we know how much we were worth ($1 Billion!) when Instagram sold us all to Facebook, but we have rights and a voice. And we can use the very tools they give us to communicate our outrage. I love internet mutiny!

In a post titled: “Thank You. We Are Listening,” Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom promised to “modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos,” then went into specifics about the sale of photographs for advertising purposes stating that, “it is not our intention to sell your photos,” and most importantly:

Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.

Do you think that Instagram will keep their promise?



About Jen G

After living in NYC my entire life, I found the strongest sense of community in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Running this blog is truly an honor and the best part is meeting its readers in real life. Everyday I am energized by smiles and inspiring conversations with fellow Greenpointers who tirelessly do and create incredible things that are good for our community and share the same love I have for life here. If you see me walking with my little dog "D" - please say hi!


  1. BL says:

    Hey Jen they never claimed to own our photos what they claimed is that when we accept the new terms to be released Jan 16 we will voluntarily “grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service”

    Furthermore, the new terms state that ” 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”

    Reading between the lines of the statement released by Instagram: “Hey guys, we got caught red handed because people actually decided to sift through the legal documents and privacy changes so we are going ‘re-word’ our privacy policy in a more ambiguous way so you do not realize how your photos are being used.”

    • Jen G says:

      “grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service” – so ridiculous!

      The rewording will be scrutinized even more closely than the original proposal. Do you agree?

      And users are prepared to bail, however sad that may be for us.

      I am going to download the new Flickr – just in case…although I can’t imagine that it’s as wonderful. I am in love with the Instagram.

      • Ben L says:

        Hey Jen,

        Sorry for disappearing from the convo, haha. It is ridiculous that they think people would be fine with that sub-license but that is what happens when Facebook takes over a service.

        Yes I do think it will be scrutinized even more heavily as it should be. I would not trust the owners of FB to suddenly give up on the proposal; Instagram is a gold mine and they know it.

        I already downloaded my entire Instagram library as I am prepared to delete my account if they even hint at trying to use our photos.

        I am in love with it as well Jen. The photos I post are to share with others for their viewing enjoyment but not to be sold. Instagram was one of the few places I felt comfortable sharing my work and sharing random fun photos without risk of it being stolen either by the community or the company. If you are interested before I take it down.

        Best, BL

  2. Bob says:

    Their promise is to their investors. It’s a publicly traded company. If they need to turn a profit, they will do whatever that TOS allows.

    The new Flickr app is really nice! 🙂


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *