Kim Kardashian, Like Many, Totally Misunderstands Instagram’s Policy Changes

By: Josh Wolford - December 20, 2012

Now look what you did Instagram – you went and pissed off your most popular user.

That’s right, the eternally-newsworthy Kim Kardashian is reportedly a little skittish following Instagram’s recent policy updates, or Instapocalypse 2012. TMZ reports that the socialite is telling all of her friends that she’s think about quitting the service unless Instagram does something to ease her mind. TMZ says that she’s considering heading to a rival photo sharing service and suggesting that her followers come with her. If you’re unaware, that’s over 5.7 million people.

The only public comment she made about the Instagram situation came on Twitter. It was just before Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom posted a message reassuring users that the company had no intention of “selling their photos.”

Of course, Kim K is simply another person who has overreacted surrounding this Instagram mess. In reality, Instagram is not, nor were they ever going to sell your photos. At least not in the manner that spurred that epic freakout. Instagram always said that users retain ownership of their photos. To suggest that Instagram was just going to use your photos to build up a stock photo service in which they could simply license them off to any company for whatever purposes they pleased is misunderstanding the nature of the service.

What was more likely was that Instagram was planning on an in-house advertising product, similar to Facebook’s Sponsored Stories product.

But now, Systrom says that they will remove the language from the revised ToS that allows for users’ likeness and photos to be used in advertising.

In the end, users may follow Kim Kardashian if she decides to jump ship. Instagram did screw up by letting lawyers turn their ToS and privacy policy into a legal-language mess that confused users. Plain language is nice, and it would have probably prevented this giant cluster over a plan that didn’t really ever exist.

[Image Kim Kardashian, Instagram}

Josh Wolford

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

View all posts by Josh Wolford
  • Ned

    The vague nature of the TOS made this a problem. Reading it as it was written, Instagram/Facebook most definitely could do anything with your pictures, without compensating you. They could make the most successful ad campaign ever for any other company, make tons of money, for doing nothing. So it’s not an “epic freakout” based on nothing… It is based on poorly written rules, and a history of Facebook using its members for profit while disregarding their privacy.

    • Josh Wolford

      Agreed that the language was poorly constructed. The problem with people’s reactions was that they failed to see it for what it was – a sponsored story-like ad product. Either way, the revised terms will likely remove that language anyway.

      • Ken

        Josh, The reason people reacted the way they did is precisely because the language was poorly constructed. You seem to be blaming people for not being able to read Instagram’s mind. The language pubished was that bad and broad. Given that, what do you expect from people?

        I agree that there was mass overreaction. We’ve seen this with FB and typically after the initial problem is brought to light the inevitable correction is issued. But rather than blame the public for “misunderstanding” an extremely poorly written TOS, how holding Instagram accountable for publishing TOS language that allowed exactly what people reacted against. Nothing in the original TOS language stated that Instagram was considering a sponsored story-like product, so just exactly how were users supposed to know that is what Instagram intended?

        • Josh Wolford

          To be fair, most people didn’t take the time to read the TOS – therefore it wasn’t the poor language that sent them into a tizzy. Many people just saw someone tweet that Instagram was going to sell their photos and hit the retweet button.

      • Joe DeFlora

        Sub-licensable and royalty-free license means they can resell your content. Why even say “sub-licensable” if their intention wasn’t to leave that door open?

  • amay

    Why does she always have to post her BOOBS????????????? I think they are better off without her. They have more class then Kim.

    • Elaine

      Thank you! I’m tired of seeing “boob cracks”. Looks too much like butt cracks. (skin crawl)

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  • texasace00

    Time to switch to SkankoGram

  • Dan Rogers

    Instagram and IP law is explained in an easy to understand way in this recent post: Instagram’s new policy and what it means.

  • http://yahoo a, maclean

    misunderstood? we all understand her….it is simply do dick for dollars