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Instagram: The New Terms of Service

December 19 2012

instagram iconWith the rise of social media outlets, it is difficult to tell which were made for what function. For those unsure as to what function Instagram serves, let us at My Computer Works shed some light on this social media service.

Instagram is a free photo-sharing program and social network that operates much like Twitter. Users can upload images that show up in a feed of their followers, much like the Facebook newsfeed, but these are just pictures. Now that we have a basis of what Instagram is, let's get into how it is changing.

Exploring the New Terms of Service

Instagram is further integrating with Facebook, which is causing them change their Terms of Service. The change causing the most buzz is that Instagram can use the images you upload for their ads, or sell them to third party partners. This shows under the headline of "Rights" in the Terms of Service and says:

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, 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 in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Don't know that metadata is? You are not alone. Metadata, for example, is when you tell your picture to geotag or to pin where your picture was taken. That information is stored in the picture and allows others to determine where your photo was taken by use of longitude and latitude points.

In addition to Instagram sharing your pictures for advertising purposes, they don't even have to let you know what an ad is. "You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such." This is also displayed in the "Rights" section under updated terms. This means Instagram photos don't necessarily have to be identified as ads.

The last major update is a means of coverage, as Instagram states that anyone under the age of 18 who uses the service is assumed to be doing so with their parent's consent. And with that, their information can be used in ads, as well. Instagram's verbiage reads, "If you are under the age of eighteen (18) ... you represent that at least one parent or legal guardian has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username and/or photos [along with any associated metadata]) on your behalf."

The new terms go in effect on January 16th, with no option to opt out of marketing that Instagram will use. Users can either accept the changes or delete their account, unless Instagram changes their terms of service to amend these points.

If you have any questions about the changes, feel free to call (800) 716-4939 or email [email protected].

To view the original article, visit the My Computer Works blogMy Computer Works blog.