I

f you use the popular photo-sharing app Instagram, you're in for some changes come the new year. Since Facebook acquired the app in September this year, it's almost surprising that it's taken this long, but starting on January 13, 2013, all data on Instagram will be shared with Facebook.

What's ticking Instagram users off, though, is that there's no opt-out feature for it—since plenty of Instagrammers haven't linked their Facebook accounts or don't even use Facebook, this brings some questions. First, what happens for users who don't want their photos ALL shared with Facebook? What happens to users who don't even have a Facebook account?

Instagram data will be shared to Facebook starting January 13, 2013.

The updated privacy policy for Instagram doesn't shed light on any of it, and it sounds kind of like a canned response to anticipated outrage:
"Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.”

So sharing more information with Facebook is to prevent spam? Um, how? Right now, you can report users for spam on Instagram with the touch of a single button—why does Facebook need to collect our email addresses and other contact information that we signed up for Instagram with, plus (obviously) all of our photos?

Since both services are free to use, it seems silly complaining about the new rules, but since many people on one platform don't use the other or don't want to share with the other, it's a little confusing.

We'll report back when the new guidelines are in place.