With more than 700 million monthly users, Instagram is an excellent social platform reaching new audiences.  With more than 95 million photos uploaded every day, the question is what ownership rights are we giving up for that new audience reach?

Sarah Kornblet wrote “3 Instagram Policies Marketers Often Overlook” on Social Media Examiner that addresses this question.  In short, when using Instagram, we grant them unrestricted rights to use our photos, even for profit.  Maybe even more important, we grant Instagram the ability to transfer commercial use to other parties.

What does this mean for you?  Posting on Instagram could subject your brand to use by Instagram to generate revenues.  For most small businesses in America, having Instagram use our branding would be a great boom for our business, but for big business there is a different reaction.

So how do you use Instagram without worrying about losing your artwork?  One way is to not spend lots of money on photos for use on your social channels.  Stick with stock photography with minimum graphic manipulation to keep costs down.  Use photos you personally take, but don’t plan on selling.  Use photos that capture the feel of your message or the personality of your business.  Keep it generic and then when you see the photos again on other websites you will not feel as bad!