Let’s filter (excuse the pun) through
those boring Terms and Conditions!
Instagram, according to iTunes, is used
and loved by over 150 million people
worldwide! This image sharing social
media phenomenon has captured the
creativity and photographic passions
of so many people.
What must be asked, however, is: how
many of these 150 million users have
actually read and understood the
Instagram Terms and Conditions?
What’s more: how many users have
read the T&Cs since their major
overhaul on January 19, 2013?
Therefore, in the hopes of simplifying
Instagram’s Terms and Conditions of use
significantly, let’s cut through the mumbo
jumbo and walk through the points that
Instagram are trying to get across to their
millions of users…
The following information was created from a
subjective viewpoint using the information
contained within Instagram’s official Terms
and Conditions at
The first section within Instagram’s
Terms and Conditions of use outlines
briefly and succinctly what cannot be
done using the platform…
Some are quite simple and mostly
involve basic common sense and
For all you pre-teens and kids out there, you’ll just
have to wait until you’re at least 13 to use Instagram!
When using the Service, keep your clothes on, don’t
get angry and don’t be mean to anybody else!
Take responsibility for what you, or other people, post
using your account! What happens on your account is
entirely your responsibility, so be careful what you do
and make sure any uploaded content is lawfully
Be careful with your login details and don’t lose your
Keep the niceties coming and avoid any mean or rude
behaviour! Putting other people down or defaming
them on Instagram will get you into serious trouble.
Make sure you check your local legislation and
regulations as well before jumping on Instagram, as
you’re bound by those conditions too!
If you’re using the web for other means, make sure
you don’t imply that your own web presence is
associated with Instagram! They won’t like you stealing
Instagram won’t allow you to use their Service or
brand in any way to drive your own economic profits,
unless they have given express permission!
Don’t put web addresses in your name without
permission from Instagram!
Don’t create your Instagram account using and online
robot or scripting service. Make sure you register
But what happens if I ignore these Basic
Terms and do what I want on
Instagram? Surely I can’t get into that
According to Instagram’s final Basic Term:
termination of your Instagram account. You understand and agree that
Instagram cannot and will not be responsible for the Content posted on the
Service and you use the Service at your own risk. If you violate the letter or
exposure for Instagram, we can stop providing all or part of the Service to
(Source: Basic Terms, pt. 17 - http://instagram.com/about/legal/terms/#)
So basically, yes, you can get into a lot of trouble
if you do the wrong thing! Anything from
account termination to courtroom sentencing!
Next on Instragram’s list of Terms and
Conditions is the General Conditions
Here we see exactly what Instagram can
and can’t do with their users’ content.
Again, some of these conditions are
relatively straightforward and
Instagram can kick you off the site and suspend your
account whenever they please!
When an account is terminated, any user rights and
licenses also cease.
Instagram can change their T&Cs whenever they
like, which will come into effect immediately.
They can refuse any person access to the site at any
time, or can force them to forfeit their chosen username
for any reason.
Any content posted on Instagram can be
blocked, removed, deleted or monitored by the site
administrators as they please!
Instagram administrators and owners take no
responsibility for the behaviors and actions of the site’s
However, there are a few conditions
that are only comprehensible if users
are both lawyers and IT professionals
at the same time!
The points in summary translate as…
Don’t use Instagram for business or economic gain
Any data shared on the Service may caused
personal information to be shared publicly.
Any data charges incurred from using the site are
the user’s responsibility. Instagram won’t be
paying your bills for you!
Don’t access Instagram using automated searching
or crawling means – any use of the Service must be
manually undertaken and not using a computer
The Rights section contained within
Instagram’s Terms and Conditions of
use document essentially details
exactly what Instagram users and
administrators have to right to use the
site to do…
Instagram can use the images you post on the site
however they wish, but they do not own the
Instagram can advertise third party materials on
Instagram’s logos and trademarked or registered
content cannot be reused by others unless
permitted by the site administrators!
The site administrators have the right to interrupt
the Service at any time and are not liable for any
subsequent inconvenience or loss caused to users.
Here, Instagram add brief points
relating to copyright of online
Essentially, if you repeatedly infringe
copyright laws using Instagram, your
account will be disabled.
Instagram also provide a facility that allows
users to report copyright infringements of
their own content, which can be accessed at
These sections of the T&Cs covers
much of the same ground as the
previous sections, such as…
Instagram are not liable for any service faults or
system issues that affect users, nor are they liable
for any illegal or defamatory material posted on the
The Service is used at the risk and responsibility of
Accessing the Service is presumably done so
lawfully and any illegal behaviour is at the liability
of the user.
This section is quite simple: any claim
that users have arising from their
relationship with Instagram must be
made within one year. Otherwise, the
claim is permanently barred.
This section states that any legal claim
made against Instagram must be done so
in the state of California, USA. The
claimant must also submit to the local
laws of Santa Clara (the home of
Instagram in California).
So, if you want to sue Instagram, you’d
better be prepare to travel! (Unless, of
course, you live in Santa Clara…)
The final section of Instagram’s T&Cs
essentially states that local laws apply
to an individual’s use of Instagram. In
turn, if Instagram believe that use of
the Service in any given jurisdiction
may result in legal burdens upon the
company, they reserve the right to
refuse access in those areas.
So, there you have it. As we’ve
seen, Instagram not only have quite a
significant of power over our use of
their Service, but also have a
surprising amount of liberty when it
comes to use of uploaded content.
It’s clear that getting to know these
Terms and Conditions before using
Instagram next may save yourself a lot
of inconvenience down the track!
iTunes Preview: Instagram. (2013) Retrieved from
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Thumbs Up. [Image]. (2012). Retrieved from
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Handcuffs. [Image]. (2013). Retrieved from