Digital marketers are facing a new threat.
And that threat comes from Instagram.
The social media giant has been accused of slowing the adoption of its products and services and limiting its flexibility as a marketplace.
The accusations come as Instagram continues to ramp up its advertising and digital marketing budgets and to compete with other digital giants such as Facebook.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a patent in January 2017 for a method for a consumer to “detect the presence of the content” of Instagram using a user-interface that can “detectedly indicate the presence” of content.
In this patent, the user “observes the presence, and determines if the content is currently being shared by a user or not.”
The patent describes a method that “detector” a user’s Instagram content and provides the user with the information required to determine whether a content is being shared.
In this case, the invention is “detection” by a consumer that “displays the content of a user.”
The USPTO claims that the invention could provide a “detective system that allows a user to detect the presence or non-existence of a content” and “detracts a user from sharing content by a content creator, content provider, or other person.”
The company also claims that its “detraction” of the “contents” of a shared Instagram account can “retract the user from the content sharing, or from participating in the content.”
The complaint against Instagram claims that it “implemented the method of detecting content of other users by the presence detection of a particular user.”
According to the complaint, Instagram users were “immediately notified of Instagram’s intent to remove the content or remove the user.”
In the case of a complaint by a customer, the complaint claims that a “customer was provided with a notice from Instagram regarding the removal of content of the user in question.”
Instagram responded that the user was “not the one who posted the content and has since been removed.”
The court filing is dated November 22, 2017.
Instagram also says that it has “received multiple complaints from customers” about the patent, and that the company “has been working with the patenting agency to resolve these complaints.”