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Instagram tells third party apps to cease using 'insta' and 'gram' in their name

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instagram shady
instagram shady

Instagram has sent an email to an app developer who utilizes its APIs, telling Luxogram that it will need to change its brand name so that it does not include either "insta" or "gram." There are many such apps that use the hooks that Instagram provides to build things like gallery viewers and other tools, including Webstagram and Luxogram. According to TechCrunch, which posted a portion of Instagram's message, these developers will need to reply within 48 hours and will have a "reasonable period" in which to change their apps' names. For developers to maintain continued access to Instagram's APIs, they'll presumably need to adhere to the new, stricter standard.

Instagram's new brand guidelines are a shift from its earlier terms of use, which stated that "it's ok to use one (but not both) of the following: 'Insta' or 'gram'." Now, Instagram lists those terms (along with "IG") under the a "Don't" section of its guidelines. Luxogram developer Jeff Broderick tweeted about the changes earlier today, writing that "this is Twitter all over again," referring of course to Twitter's slow slide from developer openness to strictly-controlled access to its APIs and their uses.

Instagram already limits third party apps to specific uses, generally letting apps display Instagram photos but only allowing posting of photos in rare cases. However, until this guideline change the company has been consistent in communicating what developers can and can't do. That hasn't stopped some third party developers from trying to fill in the gaps on platforms like Windows Phone — and mainly doing so without being shut down. We've reached out to Instagram for comment and will let you know what we hear back.