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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Updated: Instagram's policy about the commercial use of user photos

by Take Two®

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CEO and co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom talks during a session at LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis, near Paris on December 5, 2012. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: In response to public concents, Instagram has released a statement clearing up confusion about their new policy. Read the statement here.

100 million people use the mobile phone app Instagram, meaning 100 million people are constantly taking photos of babies and food and clouds. Yes, clouds.  

This parody song pretty much sums up Instagram (Warning: Song contains strong language):

But Instagram users are breaking away from taking pictures of their cats to voice their outrage about the company's new user policy. Instagram says, starting January 16, if you take a photo, Instagram can use it for whatever purpose they want. Stick it in an ad. Sell it as a stock photo. Here'sa snippet of their official statement:

"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."

Angry Instagram users are threatening to shut down their accounts, but Sam Biddle, a writer for Gizmodo, says users should quit complaining

“If say a cable television that we’re paying for put in a stipulation ‘you know, we’re actually going to monitor everything you watch and sell that information to marketers and we’re going to put a camera in your cable box and watch you at home and see what you’re wearing,'" said Biddle. "Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but you might be angrily outrageous there because you’re already giving the cable company money. Whereas in Instagram, it’s free. You’ve been getting a free fun thing for years.”

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