God Damit!

Why You Shouldn’t Freak Out Over Instagram’s New Terms Of Use.

God Damit!This happens every time.

Social platform changes its terms of use to enable it to serve ads on its platform.

People freak out. Threaten to quit. Write manifestos.

People forget.

People go back to normal.

That’s because every time it happens, it’s not as big of a deal as people make it out to be.

Instagram just changed their terms of use, and especially because it’s a photo-centric service, people are freaking out that their photos might get sold without their permission. I just don’t think that’s what this is all about.

Here’s a caveat: I’m not a lawyer. But what I’m getting from all of this is that the common thread with all platforms that make a change like this is this: The granting of a “non-exclusive license”, which is meant to give a social platform the right to hold your content on their servers, and then serve it to other people — in accordance with your privacy preferences, of course. It’s a form of “temporary ownership” or “temporary transference of rights” that Instagram legally needs to serve something you created.

Not to sell your photos.

Rather, they want to use your use of their (free) service to sell ads that will be seen by the right “you”s.

The quote from this Lifehacker piece in 2010 is pretty spot on: “if you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”. It’s YOU. Not your photos.

Instagram is selling you. Ironically, people seem to be more ok with that.

So while, yes, the legalese could probably technically be interpreted to grant Instagram the right to sell your stuff directly, my hunch is that just as Facebook did, they will issue a clarifying statement.