Anyone can take new public Instagram photos and turn them into a Reel

Instagram will soon allow anyone on the platform to remix their new photos, as long as their account is public. There will be a way to disable remixing, but you’ll have to actively opt out once the option is active; will be enabled by default.

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

Remixing will be enabled by default, but Instagram will provide ways to disable it, according to Devi Narasimhan, a spokesperson for Meta. Users will be able to disable remixing on individual photos or at the account level through the settings menu. All photos posted before the feature goes live will have remix turned off by default, but you’ll be able to turn remix on for individual posts if you’d like.

This is similar to the system Instagram used when it opened up all public videos for remixing in January, and only made videos posted after the switch was made available for remixing.

Photographers have often been skeptical about Instagram’s handling of their photos, and today’s change, and lack of options or clarification about it, probably won’t do the company any favors. In 2012, a change to the app’s terms of service sparked a wave of panic that the company could sell users’ photos (it couldn’t), but similar concerns have persisted almost every time its terms of service have been changed. . More recently, Instagram leader Adam Mosseri stated that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app.”

The remix might help get the photographers’ work out to more people, but it might also put their work in contexts they’d rather not see it, so I hope a lot of people turn off the remix.

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