Do you taking pictures? Do you like to make those pictures special by applying filters to them. Do you enjoy advertisers to skim your data and pictures and push ads to you? If you answered “yes” to the first 2 questions then you probably use Instagram. If you didn’t understand the last question then you may not have heard the big fuss about Instagram changing their privacy policy.

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Does that mean that Instagram is going to sell my likeness and photos? Here’s how the CEO of Instagram responds to that statement:

To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.
– Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO & Co-Founder

Be aware that these “free services” need to make money some way. If they are not going to charge you, then they are going to sell something to someone. The cheapest and easiest thing to sell is the data that the user is giving them. In this case it would be your likeness, pictures, meta details, etc. You may ask yourself, “But I thought the CEO stated he wouldn’t sell our pictures”. True he’s not going to sell your picture in the classic sense of the term “sell”. But Instagram is going to sell access to that information, so ads can be marketed to you. Advertisers and Brands will be able to have promoted pictures appear in your timeline, like how Twitter has promoted Tweets and Tumblr has promoted posts. How will Instagram use your data with this brands? Look no further than Instagram’s parent company, Facebook. If you like a company or are fans of company on Facebook, then you likeness and photos (profile pic) is used to show to your friends that, ‘Person A likes this, and they are your friend so you should too.’ Instagram is looking to do the same thing. For more information about how brands can use your Instagram pictures, check out a write up by Nilay Patel at The Verge.

TL;DR
Is Instagram bad for you? About as “bad” as any other company that you share information with. If you are fine sharing information, like pictures, with Facebook, then you’ll be fine sharing pictures with Instagram. They are the same company at the end of the day.

– Post Scripts & End Notes –
+ Instagram, Privacy Policy
+ Steve Kovach, Business Insider, Instagram Responds: ‘It Is Not Our Intention To Sell Your Photos’
+ Nilay Patel, The Verge, No, Instagram can’t sell your photos: what the new terms of service really mean