Instagram Brand Policy No Longer Allows Connected Apps to Use ‘Insta’ or ‘Gram’


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.

(via TechCrunch)

  • Sid Ceaser

    Awesome way to drive away users, Instagram! Congrats!

  • TeddyGram

    Sounds like an InstaSCAM

  • gochugogi

    Every dog has its day. People will soon move on to the next big thing and Instagram will take its place along with pet rocks, Walkman and VHS.

  • Alan Wood

    I suggest Crap-O-Matic as being a suitable name.

  • Zack Arias

    Makes me want to dump IG even more. Hoping good things for Jeremy Cowart’s @OkDoThis app.

  • frank mckenna

    I wonder if in fact those apps were initially encouraged to use the “insta” or “gram” in their name of imaging if they could sue Instagram now trying to shut them down. If they could prove that they were encouraged as they say, I think they would have a strong case now.

  • ramanauskas

    Also, these add-ons cant be called “programs” or do anything “instantly”.

  • Steve Grob

    I never understood the allure in the first place. RIP Instagram.

  • Mike

    Niiiiice! Make them shoot and wait 30 minutes for “development”!

  • Eugene Chok

    i agree with you completely this is ridiculous

  • gautch

    So instead of officially trademarking “insta” or “gram” they just force anyone that wants to use their service to not use these?

  • Rabi Abonour

    It’s one thing to say that future apps can’t use these terms is one thing, but to say that established apps that were encouraged by Instagram to use the terms have to totally rebrand is insane.

  • Larry

    They ripped off the Insta from Kodak Instamatic, the Logo from Polaroid and the gram from Telegram… many ways can I say I hope Facebook (who is directing all this nonsense) eats crow…. The next thing you know they will forbid you from using the word Air let alone breathing it.

    I lost interest in Instagram right after Face bought them.

    But hey folks keep on lovin em’.

  • Instaconfused

    I wonder what legal grounds they would have for stopping people? It’s not like you’re breaking copyright by using the word “insta” or “gram” or even “IG”. If you copied their logo I could see but they can’t possible expect to shut down all these apps for using a word…can anyone clear this up?

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Instagram died when Facebook bought it.

  • Richard

    I don’t think they have legal grounds, note that they are instructing people to change their names or lose access to the api. It’s not so much a legal affront but more a term of service. E.g. follow these guidelines or lose access to the api.