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Instagram may have ads, let companies use your photos for the ads

December 17, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • An Instagram photo of the upcoming changes to the social network's terms of service.
An Instagram photo of the upcoming changes to the social network's… (Salvador Rodriguez/Los…)

Instagram may be close to having advertisements, and those ads might use your photos.

The Facebook-owned social network announced upcoming changes to its terms of service, and the most notable one says Instagram can let companies pay to use your photos as well as your name and other information for ads that would be displayed within Instagram.

"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," Instagram says in the terms of service.

Currently, Instagram doesn't display ads but Facebook does, so in all likelihood, advertisements will eventually come to Instagram too.

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When asked, Instagram did not specifically say ads are coming, but the service did not reject the idea either.

"We are continuing to evaluate when, how, and in what form advertising inside Instagram plays a role in creating value for users and brands alike," Instagram told The Times in an email.

The upcoming changes are already causing an uproar.

Wired, for example, has written a guide to leaving Instagram and taking your photos with you while The Atlantic put up a post making the case for why it's more beneficial to users' privacy to pay for apps instead of using free services like Instagram.

Another change in the terms of service that is likely to be equally controversial involves Facebook.

Instagram in a blog post said it and Facebook will now share information with each other. The company said this will allow the two social networks to build better features, fight spam more effectively and discover system issues more quickly.

All of that sounds beneficial to the user, but the downside is both services will also know even more about you.

Instagram said the new terms of service will go into effect Jan. 16.


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