Instagram’s TOC announcement a death sentence?

In the last twenty-our hours, Instagram has found itself not only in hot water with it’s subscribers, but it has started a wildfire that is out of control, as many Instagram account holders are removing their images and deleting the gallery. 

Even co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom posted on Instagram’s blog, announcing “We are listening,” while trying to clarify and rest the concerns that many of the Instagram community are having, but there is still great confusion with the greater majority of news media believe that the new ‘Terms of Service’ will permit Instagram to sell your images.

I do not wish to add to the confusion that all ready exist, other than to suggest that calmer heads will prevail, while also offering a few suggestions on what you might do before completely deleting your Instagram account.

What ever your position, we must not forget FaceBook and Instagram is a business, which need to find ways to make money because of the shareholders to which they are responsible to. The position I personally take is that their new TOS language was meant to clarify and not further confuse the issue, but unfortunately there is conflict within the TOS language suggesting Instagram/FaceBook can use your images to promote Instagram and FaceBook advertising affiliates with which it does business selling advertising to.

Since you have till January 16, 2013, before the new ‘Terms of Service’ go into effect, it is suggested you change your account to private. This offers you some protection regarding your images but not your personal and meta data.

Because of the TOS uproar you may wish to hang around a few more days before taking any drastic actions with your gallery, especially since Instagram is already making some adjustments to their ‘Terms of Service’ and may completely re-write the portions that has started this wildfire before too long. 

If you wish to remove your images and close the gallery, I suggest reading Wired Magazines latest post, advising how best to go about it.

I would also recommend that after deleting your images you keep your Instagram gallery and upload one image or text image, because in the next several weeks you are going to have to rebuild your new gallery elsewhere. With your last post, you inform your former followers where you have migrated to. This should help you and your followers in establishing your new gallery as well as theirs.

Because Instagram is owned by FaceBook, I would suggest not linking your new account with FaceBook and unchecking the social network sharing of your new galleries images with FaceBook. You can still use your new sites feature that allows you to sign up for a new account by using your FaceBook account information. Remember, once you have that new account with either EyeEm, Flickr, Starmatic, or other social sharing service, simply not to allow sharing uploads with FaceBook when setting up your preferences. 

Personally I feel this continued problem with FaceBook and now Instagram’s ‘Terms of Service’ has severely damaged any trust one might have had with FaceBook. While I am not rushing to delete my Instagram images, I will not be uploading any photographs, while keeping the gallery up.

We must not forget that many other companies are heavily invested in Instagram like Blurb Books, InstaCanvas, just to mention a few, this mass migration from Instagram is affecting them as well. So we may see pressure placed on Instagram and FaceBook to resolve the TOS issue to everyones satisfaction. Only time will tell.

Here are some links of interest regarding the TOS uproar.

     Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram; We are listening
     Wired Magazine; How to delete your account

     Gizmodo; Stop Whining . . .

     Digital Photography Review Connect; What you need to know

     Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection; Photographer’s upset by Instagram

     To backup or transfer your IG photographs; use Instaport

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