Instagram is tightening the screws on its branding policy and bans things earlier deemed possible. Now apps somehow related to Instagram and having either Insta or Gram parts in their names are required to change their names to exclude these parts within a time period vaguely described as “reasonable” by Instagram. All “trespassing” apps are warned through very polite but emphatic emails.
As the email received by Luxogram put stress on two distinctive points: use of these two separate parts of the name and use of logos at list similar to that of Instagram. Earlier Instagram branding rules prohibited use of the full name Instagram only. So, every app identified as “breaking the new rules” is informed of following (this is a brief summary, not the full text). Instagram deeply appreciates all third-party apps and innovations that help promote Instagram and attract new users and encourage them to continue their work, yet it is against inventing names that might hint that these apps are part of Instagram. The service seeks to protect its cherished and popular brand name and it cannot allow anyone create name or an app similar to Instagram. The same ground rests under demand to remove parts Insta or Gram from names and do not use symbols/logos resembling the original Instagram features.
Here Luxogram is accused of breaching two of new rules: it uses Gram in its name and features a camera (although in a very peculiar way) as its logo. Luxogram is expected to reply within 48 hours and do “troubleshooting” within allowed time span.
Previously rules were not so strict and prohibited only combination of both parts in one title, and apps were even encouraged to use separate Instagram name parts for hidden promotion of this brand. Now everything has changed. Apps which plan to use Facebook API on permanent basis have to change their names – or say good bye to cooperation.
Considering the huge number of apps working on the premises of Instagram services and using recognizable brand elements, water circles of this demand will reach far. Stratigram, Webstagram, Instadrop, Luxogram – they all get targeted by rebranding demands. These apps – and companies – are not that small, Luxogram itself attracts a million users per month, and this rebranding will be very problematic. The most possible way out for them will be just to close the shop and go searching for profit somewhere else. Yet these apps complemented the service of Instagram quite naturally, like Stratigram providing useful Instagram accounts statistics not given by the service itself.
Well, everyone understands that Facebook just keeps a watchful eye on its branding interests, as now the Instagram name is a good advertizing means itself. Yet the company has to think of users, too, before making next moves in this “protective” direction.