Delete Your Instagram Account and Keep Your Photos

Instagram was acquired by Facebook. Save your photos and delete your account, then try Instagram alternatives for Apple and Android. [UPDATED: new photo export tools.]
Written by Violet Blue, Contributor

Facebook has just acquired Instagram, the popular photo sharing network, for $1 billion.

Instagram's users - and all their data - will now be Facebook's property to use at the company's discretion.

Instagram has been a huge hit among iPhone owners and recently opened up to Android users with last week's launch of the Instagram for Android app.

In just twelve hours of its release, the app added one million Instagram users to the service.

Although I should note that as an Android user, the Instagram app does have a slick and simple UI and readymade social sharing experience, it pales in comparison to the features in other Android photo apps.

While the Facebook acquisition is no doubt good news for Instagram, and no details on Instagram user changes have been officially reported, it's not welcome news to everyone.

Now that the service will be merged with Facebook, some Instagram users are not happy with their data and user experience being merged with the social network giant. Facebook is widely known for its privacy problems and many Instagram users are well aware of this.

Additionally, people that do not use Facebook, or have deleted their accounts, are not pleased about the news either.

That's why some people will want to delete and deactivate your Instagram account.

Get your photos out of Instagram

Before you delete your Instagram account, use one of several great tools to get your photos out of Instagram so you can put theme where you want, and keep control of your images.

Instaport is the #1 choice for many for exporting images from Instagram and is recommended by the service - connect your Instagram account, begin Instaport export, and back those photos up.

[Edit Dec. 17, 8:30pm PST] Updated with more tools:

Another option is Copygr.am

Copygr.am is a cloud service that works in conjucntion with your Instagram account to provide a web interface with which you can interact with your Instgram account. 

But the key feature here is that Copygr.am has a one-click 'back up your photos page' where you can get one zipped file of all your Insragram photos delivered to you right away.

Mac users or those wanting a very simple, straightforward, no-frills backup tool can also use InstaBackup. It's a simple, free Apple app made to do one simple thing - copy your photos from Instagram and onto your Mac.

Keep in mind the following warning from Instagram - there's no going back:

When you delete your account, your photos, comments, likes, and friendships (everything) will be removed permanently and will not be recoverable.

We cannot reactivate accounts. Additionally, you will not be able to sign up with the same username again.

Even if you're not as paranoid about your data as some of us, you may simply find the change distasteful or worrisome.

It's all too common that great little startups get bought by bigger fish and experience quality dies a slow and agonizing death for loyal and loving users.

Nowhere has this been felt more acutely than at photo sharing site Flickr, showing that social photo sites are particularly at risk for this situation.

It is possible that like its other formerly smaller siblings (like Flickr), Instagram will fall victim to big-tech-company neglect, bureaucracy, sales and marketing people making decisions about quality, complete lack of understanding and empathy for users and community, and force-fit of Terms of Service application in areas of photo ownership (copyright and use in ads), and content censorship.

If any of these things might bother you, it's worth taking a look at Instagram alternatives.

I recommend checking out these Five Instagram Alternatives for Android recently recommended by Lifehacker, and this list of general Instagram alternatives offered by The Next Web.

Many people have expressed to me their frustration, anger and regret upon the news of Instagram's imminent absorption by Facebook.

Hopefully this page can give these people a sense of control back over what they've built, shared created and stored at Instagram.

Editorial standards