Get All Access for $5/mo

How Instagram's New Terms Ignited a PR Debacle Photo-sharing site Instagram walks back its new terms of service, Facebook plans new ads and more social-media news.

By Brian Patrick Eha

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This week's need-to-know social-media news.

Instagram's latest move was a bridge too far. The company announced this week that a new privacy policy and terms of service agreement would take effect on January 16. Buried in the documents was legalese allowing Instagram to sell your photos -- not to mention your own likeness -- to advertisers without notifying or paying you.

This move could have turned Instagram into the world's largest stock photo library, and a potential cash cow for its parent company, Facebook. Many users and major brands who were lulled into a false sense of security by Instagram's free service, clean interface and Twitter integration felt buyer's remorse -- or whatever you'd call the remorse of a free app user -- and canceled or suspended their accounts.

Before deleting your Instagram account in a fit of anger, try downloading your photos to your hard drive with Instaport and re-upload them elsewhere. Better yet, Instagram has seemingly bowed to user outrage and agreed to remove the offending passages from its terms of service to clarify that users own the rights to their own photos. -- CNET, Wired and SocialTimes

Starbucks' Twitter hashtag campaign hijacked.

The global coffee franchise became the latest company to watch a marketing idea fail, after it chose to display live tweets featuring the #spreadthecheer hashtag on a large screen outside London's Natural History Museum. Starbucks haters promptly took over the hashtag, referencing a U.K. tax controversy in tweets such as, "I like buying coffee that tastes nice from a shop that pays tax. So I avoid @starbucks #spreadthecheer." Lesson: negative feedback is part of life and business, so don't give your critics a platform to embarrass you. -- The Consumerist

Get ready for video ads in your Facebook News Feed.
By next April, video ads are expected to begin appearing in your Facebook News Feed on both desktop and mobile versions of the social network. Business owners should take note: These new ads -- which industry executives believe will play automatically -- could be an effective way to reach customers. Facebook users now number more than one billion worldwide. -- AdAge

You'll soon be able to download your entire Twitter history.
Can't remember all those great tweets your company sent months and months ago? No problem. Over the coming months, Twitter will be rolling out a new feature allowing you to download a searchable archive of all your tweets. Such an archive could be a useful analytics resource, allowing you to study which of your tweets have been most engaging and look for patterns. -- The Verge

Social media: like a controlled substance.
A recent study of social-media use has led to shocking revelations, including how, for many, resisting the urge to use social media is more difficult than resisting more natural, critical urges, such as eating food. Apparently it's the dopamine release triggered by sharing about ourselves online that keeps us coming back. -- Mashable

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

Wells Fargo Reportedly Fired More Than a Dozen Employees for Faking Keyboard Activity

The bank told Bloomberg that it "does not tolerate unethical behavior."

Innovation

The Key to Real Innovation Is Cross-Pollination — Here Are 10 Ways to Implement It in Your Business

Transform your business with this unique approach to sparking innovation.

Business Models

5 Questions to Ask to Make Sure Your Company's Financial Plan Is on Track

Conducting a "check-up" at midyear is essential to maintain a healthy financial plan.

Leadership

7 Ways You Might Be Damaging Your Credibility as an Entrepreneur

Here are seven credibility killers entrepreneurs need to be aware of.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Why Every Solopreneur Needs to Embrace AI-Powered Teams

With the right approach, solopreneurs can harness AI to drive efficiency, productivity and business growth.