Instagram faces backlash over plans to sell users' photos
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Tuesday 18 December 2012
Instagram is facing a backlash from its users after revealing it is to change its terms to allow the sale of people’s photographs to advertisers without telling them.
The photo-sharing service, which was bought by Facebook for $1bn in April, announced the change to its terms of service today, prompting many users to threaten to quit.
Under the new terms, people signing up to Instagram “agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos… in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
Users have until January 16 to delete their accounts, but they cannot opt out after the policy comes into effect.
The news was met with anger from users, and Clayton Cubitt, a New York photographer, dubbed the terms “Instagram’s suicide note”.
A source close to the company said to maintain Instagram as a free platform “there needs to be some form of funding mechanism” and criticised the “pure speculation” on the internet about what the change would mean in practice.
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