Instagram has just revealed its new data policy– and it’s a move that may have its more privacy-sensitive users deleting their accounts. The firm, bought by Facebook earlier this year for a whole heap of cash, has decided that, beginning on January 16, 2013, it will own the perpetual right to license all photos on its site to other firms or organizations for publicity. As CNET puts it, the move would “effectively transform Instagram into the world’s largest stock photo agency.” Jenna Wortham and Nick Bilton of the New York Times have rounded up what the changes mean for the site’s users.
We suspected things would move in this direction. For now Facebook, Instagram’s parent-guardian, is staying silent on the matter (but Noah Kalina, Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding photographer, is not). Om Malik has already said— on Facebook– what many people are thinking. “How many of you guys disagree with the Instagram terms of service change and do you worry about Facebook and its somewhat loose attitude towards privacy and what it would do to make a buck?” he posted earlier today.
The only way to opt out of these terms of service is by deleting your account before the revisions take effect, on January 13 (but don’t forget to download your Instagram pics first). Is this a tactic on Facebook/Instagram’s part, asking for something ridiculous, waiting for the backlash, and then coming back with a seemingly more moderate offer? Or is this the way that Zuckerberg sees his firm going? And, most pressingly, will you now delete your Instagram account?
One last thing. All those little birdies who work at Twitter must be jumping for joy.