Marketing to Women: Instagram or Instagrim? New Policies Announced

December 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Instagram PoliciesI really love Instagram.  Apparently, others do as well.  There have been 5 billion photos shared through the network.  But there are new Instagram policies brewing giving marketers and personal users some things to think about.

The free photo-sharing social media program released an updated version of its privacy policy and terms of service today (December 17) and they include lots of long stipulations on how photographs uploaded by users may be used by Instagram and its parent company, Facebook.  Alert!  Alert!

Remember that Facebook bought Instagram for a measly $1 BILLION recently and then we all started having problems with our Instagram photos on Twitter because Instagram had disabled Twitter integration. These new policies seem to hint at adding advertising to Instagram.  

So now, what’s up with the policies that go in place on January 16, 2013?  Apparently they will not apply to photos shared before this date.  Instagram says that the new policies would primarily help the company combat spam, which has grown along with the popularity of Instagram.  The new policies will not alter how it handles photo ownership or who is able to see the pictures.

Here’s five important considerations that the New York Times reported today:

1. Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers.  They say it’s to make functionality and sharing easier between the two groups.    But certainly this information will inform targeted advertising for Instagram when and if that happens.  And allow Facebook advertisers access to Instagram information.  So, this is probably good for marketers.

2.  You could be featured in advertising without your knowledge, just like Facebook does now.  Instagram will also be able to use your photographs and identity in ads.  The “Rights” say “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.”  So let’s say you upload a picture to Instagram of yourself and others who are not users of Instagram or Facebook.  Bam!  They may be in an ad along with you.  Maybe not so good for users or marketers if the images are not appropriate.

3.  The unsolicited use of photos applies to underage children as well.  Instagram requires that users must be at least 13 years of age, but the new policy states that they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads.  This use of underage children is troubling.  Not so good for marketers.

4.  Ads may not be labeled as ads.  There may be no disclaimer that says you are viewing an ad.  “You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such,” says the new Instagram policy.  Maybe okay, but does not smack of transparency.

5.  Are you in – or are you out?  Deleting your account is the only way to opt out.   If you log into Instagram  through the Web site, mobile applications or any other services offered by Instagram, you  are agreeing to have your content used in ads. Instagram’s new terms of service say that “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.”  Guess that’s what happens when your service is free.

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§ One Response to Marketing to Women: Instagram or Instagrim? New Policies Announced

  • Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.

    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

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