Instagram Changes: Stay or Run?

Instagram Changes Stirring Up Users. Photo Courtesy of Billy Alexander. Above Promotions Company Tampa, FL 2012
Instagram Changes Stirring Up Users. Photo Courtesy of Billy Alexander. Above Promotions Company Tampa, FL 2012
Instagram Changes Stirring Up Users. Should you remain a user or run? Photo Courtesy of Billy Alexander. Above Promotions Company Tampa, FL 2012


Wow! The internet is seriously buzzing over the upcoming Terms of Use Policy for Instagram becoming effective on January 16, 2013.

Many of you don’t like or fear legal terms so here is the main thing to know about the changes. Of course you should read the entire policy for yourself to ensure you are in agreement with or remain within their policy:

Proprietary Rights in Content on Instagram

  1. Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.
  2. Some of the Instagram Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions, and you hereby agree that Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content. The manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you.


What I haven’t seen as a definitive answer to the latter part of paragraph one above, is the “private” definition. Does this mean if you make your page private this will protect your content? It’s still a little unclear, but now is the time to figure out what are you ok with sharing if it does not protect your uploaded images.

Now I can go on and on about how many of you already violate their terms with the types of images being posted, shared from their site, etc, but I’m going to keep today’s post short.

There are two things I want to remind every one of when using the internet. Three simple rules. Once you read them, you can then decide on how you want to use any content on the internet and then I’d love to hear your answer on today’s question.

1. Do not put anything on the internet that you do not want shared with the world. And to break down the world, let’s list your parents, employers, neighbors, people in a rural area of a country you will probably never visit.

2. Anything you put on the internet is subjected to being used for another’s persons’ or organizations’ commercial gain. Let’s not forget how the media and even your closest friends share your information outside of what you are sharing to the public for your business or personal use. So have you really lost ownership since you already chance it now?

3. Even if you delete a post or attempt to make it private, servers still maintain the data and other humans have access to do what they wish to it. I’ve seen it time after time with friends that are journalists and people who think their “friends” would never share their personal moments with others. Really think on this for a minute.


If you keep these three things in mind, you’ll probably remain calm while using any form of the internet, let alone social media networks – at least for legitimate business purposes. It is important to note and like many corporate lawyers would say, just because the terms are there, does not mean the business will operate in such a manner. It just means in case they do, you were forewarned.

With that said, what has you more mad? Your feeling of not having or maintaining privacy on the world-wide web or not being able to receive any income for someone else using your content for their revenue?

Which makes you more upset? Are you even upset? Would love to hear from Instagram or any social media user. Will you stay or run from Instagram? Your comments may be used for future articles.


Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit today.


Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.



To Pin or Not to Pin: The Pinterest Copyright Controversy

#SoldOutChat returns to Twitter. Join Us. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2013.
Pinterest Logo - courtesy of (This is how we "pin" to WordPress)

After responding for a third time this week on Facebook regarding the Pinterest Copyright Controversy, it was decided an official Above Promotions Company blog post must be created.   You’ve read other hot topics on this blog, why not this one?

To Pin or Not to Pin, that is the question. 

(At least that is how we believe William Shakespeare would put it.)

It is important to note and yet it is not said as a pitch for us to obtain your business (although we wouldn’t turn it away), but matters of marketing your business should be left to the industry professionals who can be sure your plan of action is one with little to no risk.  With that said, here is our professional view on this topic.   Hopefully you can make a decision you as a business owner or casual user can feel comfortable with based on our feedback.
When the complaints first geared up a few months ago about the small startup company, Pinterest, they were surrounded by the fact people were saving photos from the originator’s site and THEN uploading to their board without giving credit to the source.   Now we see photographers and companies worried about the use of their image speaking up against this sharing site. 
Now to clarify, it is not being said a company should not be concerned about a potential loss in revenue.  It is also not being said a business should not be concerned about their image being used negatively either.  What is being conveyed in this blog is continuously and properly updating your business plan and working your brand in a positive light finds new avenues of income and can drown out the occasional rant or misuse.
Pinterest has proven to be a simple reminder of how in a technology savvy world those who are already struggling to get paid for their images or audio files will continue to be left behind.   To many, this is one more way they are being forced into fighting for or releasing their outdated business model. 
While indeed the businesses who own the images should have a right to where they want them to appear, this is an issue that didn’t just begin with “pinning”.  Google still struggles with the issue of copyrights.  It’s just for right now this start-up company, Pinterest, is getting the attention.  Give it time and the media will again turn back to Google.  
Image of William Shakespeare.  Courtesy of MIT.
Image of William Shakespeare. Courtesy of MIT.
So, to Pin or Not to Pin?

In working with our clients, we utilize the “pin it” button to get an image to a board on Pinterest.  Using the pin it feature allows the “do follow” links of origin to appear.   This saves time and keeps all parties involved from having to quote where image originated.  (You may be scratching your head now as to why we would be concerned about someone being linked to an image we pin.  Quick tip: don’t only pin your products.  People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to on this site.)

So for the business owner who blogs about products not pertaining to their organization, it is recommended to utilize the originator’s URL for the image, as well as caption under the image quoting the source.  Now, when you’re ready to pin an image from your blog, the “do follow” link will take them back to your page and essentially back to the origin of the photo online.  In general, as long as your blog isn’t attempting to inappropriately sell a product you don’t have rights to or are not generating negative feedback to the readers, many businesses will welcome you sharing their product for free.  Essentially that’s the purpose of the internet and why businesses spend so much money on search engine optimization.

If you are someone who wants to attempt to control all of your images and content that are online, you may be on the don’t pin it and boycott it side.  That’s ok too.  Feel free to utilize the no pinning code on Pinterest and place it on your website.  While you’re at it, be sure to grab one from Tumblr and add the codes to Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask as well. 

Here is one more important note for users of social media sites.  Those Terms and Conditions that you skipped over to start talking to your friends contain valuable information on sharing and possibly selling information and images uploaded to their server.  Think of it as compensation for you using their equipment for free.  Well if this bothers you as well, then you may want to review the policies of the sites you are using and then make a decision not only on Pinterest, but other sites as well. 

Finally, it is to be said that although we enjoy using our account, we are not pro-Pinterest.  We are however, pro-keeping-up-with-the-times and utilizing avenues to reach key demographics.  Our goal is always on ensuring the brands we work with have the best possible outcome of surviving in these times.

So with all of this information, what will you do?  Pin or Not Pin?  We want to hear from you.

(Please note this information on how to share photos on Pinterest is in general.  Results of your use is not guaranteed and is at your own risk.  Contact us for direct marketing advice concerning your business by visiting