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.