Facebook Doesn't Want Third-Party Apps Using 'Insta' Or 'Gram' In Their Names

Chris CrumBusiness

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Instagram is no longer allowing third-party apps that provide additional functionality to its product to have the words (or partial words) "Insta" or "Gram" in them. The Facebook-owned company has changed its brand guidelines to reflect this mentality.

An Instagram spokesperson tells WebProNews, "All uses of the Instagram brand need to be in accordance with our branding guidelines."

Here's the full list of "Don'ts" from the guidelines:

  • Use the Instagram brand in a way that implies partnership, sponsorship or endorsement
  • Combine any part of the Instagram brand with your name, marks, designs or generic terms
  • Use trademarks, names, domain names, usernames, logos or other content that imitate or could be confused with Instagram
  • Present Instagram in a way that makes it the most distinctive or prominent feature of what you’re creating
  • Use any icons, images or trademarks to represent Instagram other than what is found on this page
  • Copy the Instagram look and feel
  • Assert rights over the Instagram trademarks whether by trademark registration, domain name registration, username or anything else
  • Feature Instagram on materials associated with pornography, illegal activities, or other materials that violate the Instagram Terms
  • Modify Instagram brand assets in any way, such as by changing the design or color

There are a bunch of apps that violate Instagram's guidelines, which are not going to be happy with this change of heart. Webstagram, Gramfeed, Instagallery and Statigram would be a few.

TechCrunch shares an email another, Luxogram, received from Instagram:

We appreciate your interest in developing products that help people share with Instagram. While we encourage developers to build great apps with Instagram, we cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or endorsed or sponsored by us.

As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its well-known trademarks is very important to Instagram. For example, it has always been against our guidelines to use a name that sounds or looks like “Instagram” or copies the look and feel of our application. Similarly, as we have clarified in the new guidelines, use of “INSTA” and “GRAM” for an application that works with Instagram is harmful to the Instagram brand. It is important that you develop your own distinctive branding for your applications, and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specifically authorized under our policies.

We have to assume the bigger Facebook is really behind this crackdown. We've seen the company get pretty stingy with other parties using words "Face" and "book," which are much more widely used terms than "insta" or "gram".

Remember when Facebook sued a teacher resource for using the word "book"? Yeah, that happened.

"We were unaware the Facebook owned the Internet or the term ‘book,’" Teachbook Managing Partner Greg Shrader told us back in 2010.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.