Instagram appears to claim the ability to use your photos in advertisements on the site and app and get paid by the advertisers, without sharing any of that money with you.
Whether Instagram goes through with it is uncertain — in light of the building backlash and some trouble that Facebook previously ran into with a similar plan. But if the thought of your pics showing up in ads is enough to make you bail, here's the easy two-step way to do it:
1.) Rescue your photos
This is not so hard. The website instaport.me provides a one-click automated tool to download copies of all your photos. Currently, they download to a zipped folder on your computer, but the service is planning the ability to send them right to Facebook or Flickr, if you choose.
While Instaport is too simple not to use, it may just be a backup. Any photos you've shot with the Instagram app will probably be on your smartphone anyway — under Photos on iPhones or My Gallery on Android phones. iPhone owners who have an active iCloud account probably already have duplicates synced to their Mac or PC. If not, you can use the iTunes application on a Mac or PC to import them.
Android owners can use the $2 Photo Transfer App to send pictures from their phone to a PC or Mac over Wi-Fi.
2.) Delete your photos from Instagram
Once you know your pictures are backed up, you can easily clear out your Instagram account.
Visit instagram.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, click Your Account and log in. From there, select Edit Profile on the left-hand side and look to the bottom right of the page for the faintly written words " I'd like to delete my account."
On the next page, you have to choose the reason for leaving, such as "Privacy concerns," then type in your password and press the "Permanently delete my account" button.
And that's it — for good. The page contains the advisory:
By pressing the button below, your photos, comments, likes, friendships, and all other data will be removed permanently and will not be recoverable. Additionally, you cannot sign up with the same username again.