Facebook-owned Instagram has announced it is changing its privacy policies so that photos you create and share on the site, as well as your username and likeness, can be sold to advertisersand used in ads.
Okay, maybe panic a little.
The good news is you have time on your side. The new policy goes into effect on Jan. 16, according to the terms, and photos and activity posted to the site before that time are not covered by the new terms. In other words, your old data is safe from these policies. However, it’s unclear how new activity on older photos will be handled. The activity, such as comments and “likes,” seems to be fair game, but what about the image that goes with it?
It’s also unclear to me how usernames and profile data will be treated before and after the effective date.
If you’re seriously unhappy with the changes, the best thing to do is delete your account. But seeing as you have some time to do so, you might as well make sure you do it right.
Check Your Settings In Instagram
Some websites are advising Instagram users to hook into a third-party tool to back up their images—but many people don’t need to. First, check your settings.
If you post images mostly via the mobile app (as most Instagram users do), go to Profile and then Settings (gear icon). The page will be labeled Options.
You’ll see a switch under “Save to Library” labeled “Original Photos.” If that switch has been set to on the entire time you’ve used Instagram, you likely have your photos stored locally on your phone—and hopefully backed up to a second location, like iCloud, Google+, Dropbox, SugarSync, or some other syncing and storing service. (For advice on how to set up this kind of system, see Get Organized: Back Up Your Most Important Data.)
Instagram Check Where You Share!
If you regularly share most or all of your Instagram images on Twitter, as many people I follow do, or Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr, you likely have a backup there.
Twitter is probably the most popular service, though. Go to your Twitter profile page (twitter.com/username) and you’ll see a block of preview photos. Click it to see the larger view of your images. There’s no easy way to download and use those images, but at least they’re not gone for good.
Third-Party Downloading Tools
If you’re not sure how long you’ve been storing images locally and backing them up, or sharing them to another social network, you can use a third-party tool to rescue them all from Instagram.
So many articles have pointed users to one particular service that it has been repeatedly crashing today (Instaport.me). Give it a day or two if you want to use Instaport. You have until Jan. 16.
Alternatively, Mac users can try the 99-cent InstaBackup. Certainly, more back-up apps will hit the market fast as fast can be with this news, and I’ll update this article with more services as they become available.
Should You Delete Existing Photos?
If you quit Instagram for good, everything will be wiped, according to Instagram’s instructions for deleting accounts. If you delete your account entirely, you don’t have to worry about erasing photos one by one.
If you keep your Instagram account, I wouldn’t worry too much about deleting each photo that you’ve posted, as they won’t apply to the new terms if you shared them on the site before Jan. 16. But you might want to remove any images that you really don’t want to see compromised, because, as I alluded to earlier, it’s not clear what happens when new activity appears on an old photo.[ Source :- Pcmag ]