Deleting your account. Alternatives to Instagram

Tue, 18th December 2012, 18:50

Instagram has released an updated version of its privacy policy and terms of service  (ToS) with a major policy shift on how photographs uploaded by users may be used by Instagram and its parent company Facebook. Instagram ToS now stipulates that effective January 16, it has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without payment or notification. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.

Under the new policy, the user will retain ownership of the image but grant Facebook/Instagram the right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, without compensation to the owner.

The announcement was made in a deceptively benign blog post that stated:  

  • Nothing has changed about your photos’ ownership or who can see them. 
  • Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used. 
  • Our updated terms of service help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow.  

Editors note.. Seriously, they must have hired the same guy that writes the government bills that endeavour to limit freedom on the internet... it reeks of "Trust us.. we only want what's best for all of us)

A section of the new terms of service, titled “Rights” notes that Instagram will be able to use your photographs and identity in advertisements. Even someone who doesn’t use Instagram could end up in an advertisement if they have their photograph snapped and shared on the service by a friend.

Minors are not exempted. Instagram says people must be at least 13 years old to sign up for the service and the new terms note that if a teenager signs up, they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads.

Another unusual addition to Instagram's new policy appears to immunize it from liability, such as class action lawsuits, if it makes supposedly private photos public. The language stresses, twice in the same paragraph, that "we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of content" and "Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any content you provide.

Instagram makes a plaintive case for why it needs the cash saying that some or all of the service may be supported by advertising revenue. By allowing them to sell your content, it will help them deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions ... maybe even your pictures in an ad! 

Want to opt out? Delete your account.

If Instagram users continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013, and subsequently delete their account after the deadline, they may have granted Facebook an irrevocable right to sell those images in perpetuity.

The only way to opt out of the new Instagram terms is to not use the service. If you log into Instagram in any way, including through the Web site, mobile applications or any other services offered by Instagram, you agree to have your content used in ads.

Instagram’s new terms of service says: 

“by accessing or using the Instagram website, the Instagram service, or any applications (including mobile applications) made available by Instagram (together, the “Service”), however accessed, you agree to be bound by these terms of use.” or maybe not!

2 gigs free.. pay to play for more space. From the Photobucket ToS: 

When you make your Content public, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to copy, distribute, stream, post publicly display (e.g. post it elsewhere), reproduce and create derivative works from it (meaning things based on it), anywhere, whether in print or any kind of electronic version that exists now or is later developed, for any purpose, including a commercial purpose.

By making your content public, you are also giving other Members on Photobucket the right to copy, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and create derivative works from it via the Site, third party websites or applications (for example, via services allowing Members to order prints of Content or t-shirts and similar items containing Content, and via social media websites), provided such use is not for a commercial purpose

But you do retain all rights to any content you submit, upload or display on or while using Photobucket... which means that you do own all the Content and are responsible for its settings... it means you get sued by the copyright cops!

How about TinyPic..  you will still own the pictures that they are sharing! Free ads splashed across a site is one thing... companies usng your data by virtue of implied agreement to some inoculate terms in the ToS deserves all the disdain the internet can muster!


Some Alternatives...  



Yahoo's service for Flickr is similar, stating the company can use the images "solely for the purpose for which such content was submitted or made available." 



5 gigs of storage free but plans upgrade exponentially with a minimal monthly cost.

The content that you distribute through the ImageShack Network is owned by you, and you give ImageShack permission to display and distribute said content exclusively on the ImageShack Network.

You may revoke this permission at any time by requesting your content to be removed. Such requests will be processed within a maximum period of 24 hours (but usually as short as one hour). You may request deletion and/or mark your content private through our sites' user interfaces, or by contacting ImageShack directly. After your request is processed, ImageShack will cease distribution of your content within a maximum period of 24 hours (but usually as short as one hour) and will absolve itself of any ownership of said content, implied or otherwise.

ImageShack will not sell or distribute your content to third parties or affiliates without your permission. Third parties may exercise the following options regarding your content.


Google Picasa or Google+ 

Google's policy also is far narrower and does not permit the company to sell photographs uploaded through Picasa or Google+. The Google ToS states "The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our services." 



Free online photo storage: Shutterfly makes it fun and easy to be thoughtful and creative with your memories.

Sure, they deliver "award-winning prints" from your digital camera right to your door. But delivering prints is just one thing they do. From start to finish, they make it easy to enhance, share and store your digital photos... Imagine that, a business model where the only photos they sell are the ones you buy! 



SmugMug feature rich plans start at $5/month but they offer something that many free photo storage sites don't:

  • No ads or promotions surrounding your photos.
  • Unlimited photo uploads and traffic.
  • Ability to retrieve your photos anytime.
  • No requirement for your visitors to register.
  • No threat of losing your photos if you don't buy prints.
  • No reducing resolution of your photos like at free sites.
  • No "free for a few photos, expensive for more" plans like Picasaweb's.
  • Ability to view big, clear photos.
  • Gorgeous themes to personalize your galleries.
  • Full-screen slideshows.
  • Real, knowledgeable & friendly humans to answer your emails quickly.
  • More safety for your photos. Pay sites rarely close; many free sites—even from Yahoo, HP, Canon and Microsoft—have closed.


Building the smart photo library in the cloud. With Snapjoy, all of your photos are always organized, safe, and together in one place. Now with one click imports for Instagram, Picasa Web and Flickr!  Snapjoy is now part of Dropbox. 


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