What You Need to Know About Instagram’s Policy Changes

By Devon Glenn 

Instagram is giving users a preview of its new Terms of Use, which go into effect on January 16, 2013. The move follows an update of Facebook’s policies to allow data sharing between the social network and its newly acquired photo-sharing service.

In addition to providing a clearer description of what kinds of advertising the users can expect, Instagram has outlined its policies on copyrights, dealing with third parties, and suing Instagram.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Get ready for some ads starring your friends and you.

Facebook’s advertising platform matches friends’ faces to products that they’ve liked on Facebook. Instagram’s new policy suggests a similar idea: “To help us to deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions,” the policy states, “you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

  • Back up your pictures.

It’s hard to say what Facebook will do with Instagram over time, so it’s wise to store your favorite pictures on your phone or memory card. The “Rights” section of Instagram’s policy states: “Instagram is not a backup service and you agree that you will not rely on the Service for the purposes of Content backup or storage.”

  • If you use a third-party app on Instagram and you have a problem, don’t call Instagram.

The policy states that although you may be able to log into another site with your Instagram account or click on a link to another website from within the network, “Instagram does not control any of these third-party web services or any of their content. You expressly acknowledge and agree that Instagram is in no way responsible or liable for any such third-party services or features.”

  • If you have a legal issue with Instagram, you have one year to file a claim.

The time limitation on claims states: “You agree that any claim you may have arising out of or related to your relationship with Instagram must be filed within one year after such claim arose; otherwise, your claim is permanently barred.”

Image by Leifstiller via Shutterstock.