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Instagram Embeddable Photos – Come with Attribution, but No Control

I just discovered that images publicly posted on Instagram can be embedded. When you click on an image to view it large on, there’s a button on the lower right side of the page with “…” on it. When you click on that it drops down two choices “Report Inappropriate” link and below that an “Embed” link, which when clicked gives you embed code in a lightbox.


The photo below is my own shot of Marina Del Rey after Sunset – (that’s the moon you see coming up). So that’s fairly standard practice to be able to embed videos and Flickr photos.

However, I’m concerned that there is no ability to mark your photos as your own and NOT allow others to embed them. YouTube allows you to disable embeds, Flickr allows you to apply Creative Commons licensing – but Instagram makes all your photos available to anyone to embed anywhere. Really?

I somehow missed the announcement from Instagram of this feature a month ago. They do say the owner of the photo will be clearly identified in this statement:

As always, you own your photos and videos, and we want to make sure that’s understood no matter where your content appears. Whether you want to embed your video on your blog or a friend wants to feature your photo on a website, everyone will clearly see that your content belongs to you. Your embedded photo or video appears with your Instagram username, and clicking on the Instagram logo will take people to your page on where they can discover more of your photos and videos.

Is your content private? Then nothing has changed. Embed code is only available to those whose photos and videos are public.

I do want my photos to be seen – But I also want the ability to limit what gets used by others. As you can see here, I use a plug-in in the column to the right, showing 20 recent IG posts (on Tumblr) because I’m proud of the shots and want them seen on my site or my Facebook profile and my Twitter feed and my Google Plus

I often enter Instagram forum or App competitions or promotional contests by IG Print Makers and sometimes those photos don’t even belong to me, because for example, the competition is an “editing” competition in which you use an app to edit a photo belonging to someone else, yet it will be embeddable and show my profile. I’d like to control those.

Below is one of my Instagram photos on my Flickr Account (where I post all IG photos again for further exposure – but those get copyright notices that show it’s mine if someone tries to right click and save it:


I may post a celebratory graphic showing an IG milestone or announcing that I’ve been featured by a sponsoring site in a forum or a commentary on events or a repost of a connections photo – and I want control of those.

I also enter contests where I want to promote my own photos and encourage voting on my entries: Heres example of that:

But really Instagram – why no control of the embed feature? Is that planned?

While I’m on my soapbox about issues with Instagram, what about the inability to navigate to photos other than having the foresight to tag them uniquely to gather specific shots together. Scrolling backwards through my 4500 photographs and waiting for them to load endlessly – until I have a browser with 4500 photos loaded is plain dumb. I want to be able to navigate by date, by tag and by dominant color if I want to – within my own photos IG. Please, please figure out how to let us navigate in other ways – beyond the single reverse chronological option.

Alright, enough – now returning you to the internet. 🙂

Mike Valentine