New Snapchat Terms Should Scare You ... If You're Unfamiliar with Social Media Terms

Josh WolfordSocial Media

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Snapchat just unveiled a new privacy policy and Terms of Service, and since about 10% of your snaps are dick pics, you're likely concerned. A lot of people are. Here, look. And here.

Scary? Sure, if you're not familiar with any other social media terms agreement. Snapchat now gives itself "worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed)."

As does Instagram, Facebook, and most other social networks and messaging services.

Let's back up, though. Here's Snapchat's new terms of service, and what has people up in arms:

Many of our Services let you create, upload, post, send, receive, and store content. When you do that, you retain whatever ownership rights in that content you had to begin with.

But you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). We will use this license for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, promoting, and improving the Services; researching and developing new ones; and making content submitted through the Services available to our business partners for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication outside the Services. Some Services offer you tools to control who can—and cannot—see your content under this license. For more information about how to tailor who can watch your content, please take a look at our privacy policy and support site.

To the extent it’s necessary, you also grant Snapchat and our business partners the unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use your name, likeness, and voice in any and all media and distribution channels (now known or later developed) in connection with any Live Story or other crowd-sourced content you create, upload, post, send, or appear in. This means, among other things, that you will not be entitled to any compensation from Snapchat or our business partners if your name, likeness, or voice is conveyed through the Services.

And here's what Snapchat's Terms of Service looked like before:

You retain all ownership rights in your User Content. However, by submitting User Content to Snapchat, you hereby grant us an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, promote, exhibit, and display such User Content in any and all media or distribution methods, now known or later developed (the "User Content License"), subject to any privacy settings you have set to control who can see your User Content. Without limiting the foregoing, when you submit User Content to Snapchat in connection with Our Stories and other crowd-sourced Stories, you agree that the User Content License accords Snapchat the right to sublicense such User Content to other companies, organizations, or individuals in connection with the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion, or publication of Our Stories and other crowd-sourced Stories in any and all media or distribution methods, now known or later developed. No use of User Content, including without limitation, Our Stories and other crowd-sourced Stories, in accordance with the User Content License shall entitle you to any compensation from Snapchat, or any other companies, organizations, or individuals.

So, what changed? For starters, Snapchat added the word "store" when it comes to your content.

Wait, Snapchat is storing your content? Isn't that the antithesis of what Snapchat is supposed to be?

Is is – well, it was. Remember this from 2013?

"When a snap is viewed and the timer runs out, the app notifies our servers, which in turn notify the sender that the snap has been opened. Once we’ve been notified that a snap has been opened by all of its recipients, it is deleted from our servers. If a snap is still unopened after 30 days, it too is deleted from our servers," Snapchat said in a blog post.

That's not really the case anymore. Snapchat has its "stories" feature now, and it allows for replays. It's also working on sponsored content. Data has to be kept for longer.

The new Terms of Service basically extended Snapchat's license over your content – from just what you post as your Story to your other, more private snaps to friends.

Is this a big deal? I don't know, is it a big deal to you? Snapchat's privacy policy isn't anything new in the industry. But hey, you're probably not sharing dick pics on Instagram.

Image via Stephan Mosel, Flickr Creative Commons

Josh Wolford
Josh 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