Back when Instagram first came on the scene — you know, before Facebook paid 735 Million dollars to snatch the company up before Twitter could get its hands on it — the photo sharing app actually encouraged connected apps to use the terms “insta” and “gram” in their names. Thus were born services like Statigram, Webstagram, Luxogram and more.
But a recent change to the company’s brand guidelines has Instagram taking a step back and banning any app that would like to use its API from using either of the terms if they would like to enjoy continued access.
According to TechCrunch, the change took place yesterday, with connected apps like the ones mentioned above already receiving e-mails informing them that they’ll need to change “within a reasonable period.”
Here’s a snippet of the e-mail received by Luxogram and republished by TechCrunch:
While we encourage developers to build great apps with Instagram, we cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or endorsed or sponsored by us [...] as we have clarified in the new guidelines, use of “INSTA” and “GRAM” for an application that works with Instagram is harmful to the Instagram brand. It is important that you develop your own distinctive branding for your applications, and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specifically authorized under our policies.
In order to comply with the new guidelines, many big names that serve millions of people each month will have to re-brand or shut down completely. The Luxogram creator has already said he will more than likely choose the latter option.
The hope, it seems, is that this change will eliminate any confusion and drive Instagram users away from connected services and towards the official app and web client.