Instagram Finally Does The Right Thing

While Instagram is insanely popular, for professional photographers it has always provided a headache or two because of its policy allowing users to embed photos posted to the streaming service in third-party publications.

This has been the subject of some significant litigation and American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) along with the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) have worked to put pressure on Instagram to change the policy.

The cases of Sinclair v. Ziff-Davis and McGucken v. Newsweek were just two high-profile instances where lawsuits were filed over the policy.

The issue was sublicensing. It’s a technicality but it basically means that you and I grant Instagram the right to post our pictures when we upload them but that doesn’t necessarily mean Instagram can sublicense those images to a third party.

Now photographers can decide for themselves whether they wish to allow embedding from Instagram.

I advise all professionals and most aspiring professionals to take advantage of this change. Here’s how.

For Mobile

  1. Go to your Instagram profile
    Tap the three lines in the top right corner, then pick Settings.
  2. In Settings, choose Account, then Embeds.
  3. Toggle off “Allow people to embed your posts or profile on other websites”.

For Desktop

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and click the Settings gear.
  2. 2. In Settings, click Privacy and Security.
  3. Scroll to Embeds and uncheck “Allow people to embed your posts or profile on other websites”.


The addition of the new feature means that photographers and other creatives can display their work on Instagram knowing their rights as owners of that content will be a little more protected.