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Instagram To Developers: Don’t Use ‘Insta’ Or ‘Gram’ In App Names


Facebook went through a phase around 2010 when it sought to discourage other social Internet companies from using the terms “Face” and “Book” in their names, and now its photo-sharing network, Instagram, appears to be doing the same for “Insta” and “Gram.”

TechCrunch reported that Instagram updated its brand guidelines to include the following rule:

Don’t combine any part of the Instagram brand with your name, marks, designs or generic terms.

Instagram has also begun emailing developers of existing applications that violate that rule, asking that they make changes “within a reasonable period,” and Luxogram shared the following email with TechCrunch:

We appreciate your interest in developing products that help people share with Instagram. While we encourage developers to build great apps with Instagram, we cannot allow other apps to look like they might be official Instagram apps or endorsed or sponsored by us.

As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its well-known trademarks is very important to Instagram. For example, it has always been against our guidelines to use a name that sounds or looks like “Instagram” or copies the look and feel of our application. Similarly, as we have clarified in the new guidelines, use of “Insta” and “Gram” for an app that works with Instagram is harmful to the Instagram brand. It is important that you develop your own distinctive branding for your applications, and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specifically authorized under our policies.

Besides Luxogram, other affected apps include Statigram, Webstagram, Gramfeed, Instadrop, and Instagallery.

Readers: Should the developers of these apps have to rebrand them, or are terms like “Insta” and “Gram” generic enough, as was the argument a few years back with “Face” and “Book?”

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