A Closer Look at Instagram Terms of Service


Back in September, it was announced that Facebook had purchased Instagram for roughly $1 billion (chump change for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has a net worth close to $10 billion). With news of the acquisition, most fans of the app realized that changes to privacy settings and app functionality were inevitable.

Instagram’s new Terms of Service (rolling out January 16, 2013) have many users worked up over privacy settings. A lot of users have vowed to delete their accounts and boycott the app once the terms go into effect in a few weeks.

Let’s take a look at the sections of the Terms of Service that have so many people upset…

New Instagram terms:
Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy.”

…and compare them with their parent company, Facebook.

Current Facebook terms:
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

Pay special attention to the bold items in the agreements above.

The news stories and blog posts about Instagram’s new terms tried to make it seem like this was unspeakable in the social media world. Many people are also quick to blame Facebook for the changes, but not entirely rightfully so. Here’s a similar section from Twitter’s Terms of Service.

Current Twitter terms:
“You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

Looks familiar, right? The social networks might as well have copied and pasted these sections word for word. Moral of the story: Facebook isn’t necessarily the “bad guy” in this situation.

Another argument over Instagram’s new Terms of Service include their right to use your photos, username, and information in paid advertisements, without your knowledge and without having to pay you for it:

“Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. 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.”

Sounds pretty awful. But before you delete your account immediately and vow to use only Twitter, take a look at another section from the Twitter terms of service:

“You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.

Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.”

To sum it up… Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are all social media giants. Users fuel their programs, and their success depends on keeping those users happy and content. However, they also need to keep their businesses profitable, and they are usually willing to do whatever it takes to do so.

What do you think? Will you be deleting your Instagram account when the new terms begin on January 16th? Why or why not? Leave your comments below!

A Colorful Plugin: jQuery Color


jQuery is a quick, responsive, and easy-to-use Javascript library that simplifies DOM manipulation & traversing, event handling, Ajax, and so much more. Better yet, you can extend and build on this framework to incorporate additional features; such as mobile capabilties and user-interface enhancements. One such example of a tool that complements jQuery is jQuery Color.

jQuery Color is a plugin that gives Developers the ability to animate an element from one color to another. It essentially builds on jQuery’s fading transition by adding a color-changing effect.

It’s great for:

On November 23rd, jQuery Color 2.1.1 was released. To use this plugin, you can get it on GitHub. Additionally, the jQuery UI library has bundled this plugin with their release. You can get it here.

There are many ways to leverage this effect- use it practically and appropriately. As always, good luck and happy coding!

For questions or concerns contact me on twitter @mike_petruniak

Get Into Our App Giveback – Hasek’s Heroes, Boys & Girls Club, and the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter


Voting for the App Giveback contest ends tomorrow, but it’s not too late to get your favorite organization to the top! Read about the last (but not least) of our wonderful finalists – Hasek’s Heroes, Boys & Girls Club, and Friends of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter – and place your votes here for your favorite nominee.

Hasek’s Heroes gives children from low- to moderate-income families the ability to achieve their goals with a foundation of athletic development and educational support.

Working in partnership with the Buffalo Public School System, Hasek’s Heroes promotes academic achievement as an important component in athletics. The organization also provides children with the opportunity to learn basic hockey and skating skills, as well as the opportuntity to participate in the tiered hockey development program.

Unlike other youth sports programs, Hasek’s Heroes places an emphasis on celebrating individual achievements rather than winning.

Hasek’s Heroes was established in 2001 by former Buffalo Sabres and NHL-great goalie Dominik Hasek, and currently provides services and hockey equipment to over 500 children ages 4 to 17 on an annual basis free of charge.

Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo provides programs and activities for area youth to teachchildren the skills needed to build positive lives, attitudes, and behaviors.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo have been working to enrich the lives of girls and boys in Western New York who come from disadvantaged economic, social, and family circumstances. The organization was established in 1926 by the Rotary Club of Buffalo to provide after school programs and guidance to troubled youth.

Today, Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo serves over 8,000 youth between the ages of 6-18, giving them a safe haven that allows them to develop necessary skills to succeed.

Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo is located at 282 Babcock Street in Buffalo.

Friends of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter provides injured, abused, lost, and abandoned animals food, care, shelter, and comfort, as well as adoption services.

The shelter helps reunite families with lost pets, and also keeps potentially dangerous animals off the street. Recently, the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter took in injured Jack Russell Terrier puppy, Pheonix, who was cruelly set on fire in Buffalo. Thanks to the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter and generous donors, Pheonix is on his road to recovery.

The Friends of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter has many “Happy Tales” of animals they have helped, all of which are available to view on their website.

The shelter’s priorities include funding, providing, and promoting services such as spay/neuter surgeries, critical and preventative veterinary care, volunteerism at the animal shelter and off-site locations, adoption, foster care, and community education services.

The shelter is located at 308 N. Oak Street in Buffalo.

To learn more about any of these organizations, visit their websites or connect with them through social media by clicking the links above. Place your votes once an hour every hour for your favorite nominee here, and share the news on Facebook and Twitter! Act quick – voting ends tomorrow!