I’m not on Facebook, I’m not on Instagram. Having heard Zuckerberg speak it’s clear to me that he is not concerned with online privacy issues. So, it comes as no surprise that Facebook owned Instagram is changing its policies effective January 16, 2013.
From that date forward Instagram will be sharing information about its users within Facebook and with its outside affiliates. It will have the right to use any photos created with the app for advertising and to sell them to others. Additionally, underage users are not exempt and advertising within Instagram does not have to be labelled as such.
The only way to opt out is to delete your account.
If you want an alternative for easily mojo’d photos on the iPhone, I recommend Hipstamatic. It does not have to be tied into a social network and it can create higher resolution images, ones which can be printed. I have even had some published by clients.
Update – According to Dpreview.com this is more of a restatement of terms for Instagram than a new policy as they always did claim full rights to users’ images.
What shocks me, as a professional photographer, is when I see clients using these services. In some cases, relying on them as the engine serving photos for their web sites. Many academic clients are trending toward placing thousands of images on Flickr within minutes or hours of an event or photo shoot. I wonder what use that serves… Is an unedited gallery of 500 images that helpful to their goal or their cause? Does the general public need all of those images to be high res? And how long until a misuse of a photo occurs because a user swiped a high res copy and used it inappropriately or because the terms of service of the hosting company allowed for authorized commercial use?