Instagram's user agreement, in plain English


Does anyone actually ever read user agreements before clicking “OK”? We want to use the product *now* and we certainly can’t do it that if we’re reading a 17 page document that might as well be in another language.

But now, thanks to Jenny Afia, a privacy lawyer in London, there’s a very simple “translation” of Instagram’s terms of service --and it all fits on one page. It’s meant for teens, but let’s be honest, it’s useful for all ages.

Seeing what every Instagram user has agreed to in such simple terms is startling. 

A highlight from the privacy policy:

“Although you are responsible for the information you put on Instagram,

we may keep, use and share your personal information with companies connected with Instagram. This information includes your name, email address, school, where you live, pictures, phone number, your likes and dislikes, where you go, who your friends are, how often you use Instagram, and any other personal information we find such as your birthday, or who you are chatting with, including in private messages (DMs).”

She also clarified the rules, which can’t be repeated often enough.

“Don’t use anybody else’s account without their permission or try to find out their login details.”

“Don’t bully anyone or post anything horrible about people.”

The user agreement also means that Instagram can sell your photos.

“Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.”


It’s up to us to decide what we do with this information, but now at least we know what we’ve agreed to.

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