Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

Instagram will soon be letting everyone on the platform remix your new photos, as long as your account is public. There will be a way to disable remixes, but you will need to actively opt out once the option is live – it will be enabled by default.

In “the coming weeks,” Instagram says it will add the ability to “remix” public photos for use in Reels, the TikTok-like video service. The change aims to give Reels creators more content to work with as the company goes all in on short video in hopes of keeping up with its explosively popular competitor.

Remixing is enabled by default, but Instagram offers ways to disable it, according to Devi Narasimhan, a Meta spokesperson. Users can disable remixing on individual photos or at the account level through the settings menu. Remixing is disabled by default for all photos posted before the feature went live, but you can enable remixing for individual posts if you wish.

This is similar to the system Instagram used when it opened all public videos for remixing in January, leaving only videos published after the change was made available for remixing.

Photographers have often been skeptical of the way Instagram handled their photos, and today’s change — and the lack of options or clarifications surrounding it — probably won’t please the company. In 2012, a change to the app’s terms of service sparked a wave of panic that the company might be able to sell users’ photos (it couldn’t), but similar concerns persisted almost every time the terms of service were changed. More recently, Instagram leader Adam Mosseri stated that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app”.

Remixing would allow photographers’ work to reach more people, but it could also put their work in a context they’d rather not see, so I expect a lot of people will turn off the remix switch.

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