Before I give you my analysis on the subject matter, please allow me to give you a disclaimer. I hate social media. I hate it with a passion. I hate it with every bone in my body. Not because of its addictive characteristics or how it damages the self-esteem of young minds. No, it’s because I’m an extreme introvert and I would prefer substantive conversations instead of memes, random post, or pictures of what you ate last night. Just saying.
Yes, I know, I have social media accounts. It appears that I’m being hypocritical – hell, this blog is being posted on various social media accounts. Unfortunately, I can’t be that old man who always say “well, back in my day… blah, blah, blah.”
With that said, I tread lightly while using social media and so should you. Which leads to the question: Do you own your photos on Instagram? Should you be concerned that your vacation photos are being used without your permission? You should. And guess what, maybe they are.
When you post content (i.e. photo or video) on Instagram you lose some of your rights to your content. Here is what Instagram “literally” says:
We do not claim ownership of your content, but you grant us a license to use it. Nothing is changing about your rights in your content. We do not claim ownership of your content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). You can end this license anytime by deleting your content or account. However, content will continue to appear if you shared it with others and they have not deleted it.
Permission to use your username, profile picture, and information about your relationships and actions with accounts, ads, and sponsored content. You give us permission to show your username, profile picture, and information about your actions (such as likes) or relationships (such as follows) next to or in connection with accounts, ads, offers, and other sponsored content that you follow or engage with that are displayed on Facebook Products, without any compensation to you. For example, we may show that you liked a sponsored post created by a brand that has paid us to display its ads on Instagram. As with actions on other content and follows of other accounts, actions on sponsored content and follows of sponsored accounts can be seen only by people who have permission to see that content or follow.
Recommendations: If you decide to post content on Instagram, at least post content that will benefit you or others and not exclusively Instagram. For example, if you start a business, post content related to your business. That way, if Instagram decides to re-post your content they are giving you free advertisement. Marketing is expensive! All other users should ask the question, “Am I OK with Instagram using this photo or video for their own purpose and benefit?” If the answer is no, then don’t post it.