Instagram bans the words 'Insta' and 'Gram' from third-party apps

By on August 21, 2013, 9:30 AM
trademarks, instagram, gram, third party apps, insta

Instagram is now banning third-party photo-related apps from using the words “insta” or “gram” in their name. What’s more, developers are now prohibited from using the Instagram name or logo in their app icons as well as the Instagram stylized font in their product or marketing materials.

It’s a change of course for the photo sharing service as previous revisions of the brand guidelines noted that while it was not ok to use the word “Instagram” or “IG” in an app name, it was alright to use one (but not both) of the words “insta” or “gram.”

So what does that mean for apps that are already on the market that now fall into this banned category? It’s quite simple – either change your name or lose access to the Instagram API, effectively rendering your app useless.

In an e-mail to the developer of one such app, Luxogram – a web-based Instagram client, Instagram said they cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or are endorsed or sponsored by the company. The message goes on to note that it is important for apps to develop their own distinctive branding and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specified under the revised policies.

One could argue that the changes came down from Instagram’s parent company Facebook. The social network has similar restrictions in place that prevent app makers from using the words “face” and “book” in their names. It’s all part of their plan to protect their trademark I suppose.




User Comments: 11

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Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"One could argue that the changes came down from Instagram?s parent company Facebook"

Either that or they've been taking a leaf out of Apples book. Nevertheless it's all quite ridiculous.

Guest said:

Pure douchebaggery. Typical of companies that grow too big. I hope they ******* die. . .

wastedkill said:

What re-tard thought of banning those words.... they could be used legitimately without using the trademarked name... talk about showing how stupid you are lol its like google banning the letters g o o g l e from third party apps for their stores and stuff its just beyond pathetic.

Next we wont be able to name our apps at all because they would have banned names all together.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Nevertheless it's all quite ridiculous.

Only, it's not.

Instapaper - the app that saves news articles for reading later. Has nothing to do with social networks, nor Instagram, therefore it is not infringing upon their trademark as it is a completely different segment of media. It is safe, since it doesn't need Instagram API.

Instakilo - A hypothetical app I just made up. Is used to provide an alternate layout for Instagram. As this app's name uses a trademarked 'Insta', and it is within the same market segment as Instragram, this is a violation.

New apps that come out will have to work hard to make sure they do not infringe upon the trademark. Same thing with iLaptop or similar.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

So if your app is name "KiloGram" and uses Instagram API you should rename your app. :P

troll mode

wastedkill said:

Instagram and facebook are gonna get hacked to change the API so it doesn't have such a pathetic naming policy which is beyond a joke some doped up retard made this didn't he...

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What I want to know is, who Instagram copied when they created their name? Maybe Instagram should be forced to change their name.

wastedkill said:

What I want to know is, who Instagram copied when they created their name? Maybe Instagram should be forced to change their name.

pretty sure they are using facebooks API as well which doesn't allow the letter a in a name so instagram should be forced to change its name.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Only, it's not.

Instapaper - the app that saves news articles for reading later. Has nothing to do with social networks, nor Instagram, therefore it is not infringing upon their trademark as it is a completely different segment of media. It is safe, since it doesn't need Instagram API.

Instakilo - A hypothetical app I just made up. Is used to provide an alternate layout for Instagram. As this app's name uses a trademarked 'Insta', and it is within the same market segment as Instragram, this is a violation.

New apps that come out will have to work hard to make sure they do not infringe upon the trademark. Same thing with iLaptop or similar.

I see your point. I probably read the article with my eyes closed. I thought they wanted 'Insta' banned from all apps.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I see your point. I probably read the article with my eyes closed. I thought they wanted 'Insta' banned from all apps.

They probably do! You have to admit, a grandma looking at a list of McDonald's burgers KNOWS that the restaurant provided them all: McChicken, McNuggets, etc.

An unknowledgeable person looking at the apps Instagram, Instapaper, Instaxxx.. they would thing it is from the same company. This is why trademarks exist, to protect your brand.

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