Tuesday 27 September 2016

Instagram’s New Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

Instagram shared a major update to their privacy policy and terms of service on Monday. This comes shortly after the finalization of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. The most notable change is that Instagram is now allowing companies to pay to use Instagram photos – including name and information like tags and location – for advertising within Instagram. Promotional details and advertising options haven’t been disclosed, but the update reads:

“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your user name, 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.”

CNET shared a simple example: “That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo.” Essentially, brands will be able to pay Facebook/Instagram to use specific photos for promotional use without giving credit or paying the individual user who snapped and uploaded the photo.

The updates and changes released will go into effect January 16, 2013 and will not apply to photo content shared before this date. There is no way to “opt out” of the changes unless the Instagram account is deleted.

What does this mean for brands?

  • Changes apply to brands. Instagram currently views brands just like individual users – so the privacy policy and terms of service changes will affect all brands with Instagram accounts as well.
  • Advertising options. The big takeaway here is that while Instagram didn’t explicitly say advertising is coming, they definitely didn’t reject the idea. The new privacy policy suggests an advertising product, similar to Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, could be in the works for the Instagram platform.
  • Tighter integration and shared data with Facebook. Instagram and Facebook will now share information with each other in order to “build better features, fight spam effectively and discover system issues more quickly.” Again, this also can involve sharing data for advertising purposes.

The brand’s incentive to stay on Instagram is that it is a highly successful visual platform with tremendous reach and a seamless integration built in with Facebook. The community is large and growing – and where your brand’s target audience is most likely spending time.  The updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy is likely to preface a new advertisement product that we could see rolling out in the near future.

UPDATE: Instagram responded with a post on its blog.

Read more here:

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