It was only a matter of time. After facebook bought Instagram, everyone wondered when they would ruin it. The time is January 16th, 2013. According to CNet:

Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency.

And you won’t be able to “opt-out” – in order to protect your images you must delete your account by January 16th.

My heart is officially broken. Instagram has been one of the best photo sharing without being evil. The new policy disregards the rights of artists and photographers to be able to profit from their work. It also potentially violate privacy laws for individuals whose photograph has been taken without consent.

Instead of flat-out stealing users’ photos and selling them for profit without consent or profit-sharing, why not offer users the option to sell their photos and share a percentage of sales?


The idea of the app becoming a photo store isn’t appealing, but the need to monetize is understandable. It just needs to be done in an ethical way that respects the rights of photographers.

If Instagram moves forward with this new policy, Greenpointers has no choice but to delete our entire photo collection of more than 800 photos, and say bye to all our 1200 talented photogapher friends we’ve made in the past year. I might cry.

What are your thoughts? Are you prepared to delete your account?

Join the Conversation


  1. You misunderstand. They’re not going to sell your photos as stock photos. They’re going to pair advertisements with your photos and display them to your fbook friends and instagram contacts.

    1. I understand that perhaps their motives are not to be a stock photo agency, but the policy does not prohibit this. And to use our own photos as advertisements is so dirty gross. I can just imagine the incriminating photos they would use!

    2. Yes, but someone is still making money off of someone else’s work. If Instagram/Facebook is making money off of the use of that photo and the photographer is not then that’s a problem. If anyone should be making money off of my photos it’s me. For now, I am leaving my Instagram account as is unti I see if the outrage and uproar is enough to make them rethink their policy.

  2. Then you should also delete your facebook because they own all your photos also and have the exact same right to place an ad above or near your photo.

    This isn’t instagram selling photos to advertisers to chop up and pop a logo on it, this is instagram seeing a widly popular photo and placing an ad near it because they know it is getting a lot of views.

    Trust me, no one is going through your instagram and saying “Ooo, I like that photo, how much does it cost?”.

    As a website that makes it money advertising, I am surprised you are upset.

  3. I’m going to move my catalog over to the app Starmatic and continue to use Starmatic and Twitter to promote my photography and I encourage you to do the same.

Leave a comment

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