Instagram Deterring App Developers From Using “Insta” Or “Gram” In Brand Names

If you are an Instagram app or product developer we sincerely hope your brand name doesn’t closely mimic the Instagram name. According to Techcrunch, Instagram has begun sending emails that request developers change their names “within a reasonable period.”

Recent updates to the Instagram Brand Guidelines include:

  • Use “Instagram,” “IG”, “Insta” or “Gram” in your app name
  • Use the Camera Logos, or the Instagram name or logo, in your app icon
  • Use the Instagram stylized font in your product or marketing materials


An email to the Luxogram team (from Instagram) was shared with TechCrunch that included the following snippets:

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 application 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.

This recent change is highly hypocritical; Instagram used to actually encourage users to use “Insta” or “gram” in their products. Previous terms of service included the following statement:

“While you cannot use the word “Instagram” or “IG” in your product’s name, it’s ok to use one (but not both) of the following: “Insta” or “gram.”"

This will likely cause quite a conundrum as developers have now been dealt a 180 degree reversal on previous naming guidelines. If you are currently in the process of building an app, do yourself a favor and stay far away from the phrases as possible.

Read the full email from Instagram on the TechCrunch article.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Facebook: Instagram | Uncategorized


About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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