The social network known for enabling users to apply filters to their photos, Instagram, has updated its terms of use. This change of direction is an important one, and the first that it has made since it was purchased for $1 billion by Facebook. Essentially, Instagram reserves the right to sell users’ photographs to third parties without payment or previous notification.


This new policy regarding the intellectual property of users’ photos will take effect on January 16, and it seems to be very related to having been purchased by Facebook, considering the similar terms in both services. Unless users delete their account before January 16, the photos can be used for the benefit of both companies, even if you delete your account after January 16.

In reality, it isn’t a new user rights policy, as many services already had something similar, such as iStockPhoto. However, up until now it was a feature that set Instagram apart, but that now it is going to lose. In comparison with other services, such as Google’s Picasa or Yahoo!’s Flickr, photos cannot be used, or they can only be used according to settings previously established by the user who owns the photos.

Users responded quickly, and many are even talking about “Instagram’s suicide.” It wouldn’t be out of the norm, as it has happened in many other cases, that users’ protests make the company go back on its terms.

Update: After the big problem come up before publishing its new conditions of the service, Instagram have decided to turn back and revert terms and conditions to its original state, as they said on the official blog.

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