Instagram Completes Retreat On Selling User Photos

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Instagram reverts to the old wording of its terms and conditions following a massive user backlash

Faced with a potentially devastating backlash from users, Instagram has completely distanced itself from any hint it would sell users photos to advertisers without first gaining permission.

Earlier this week, a change to the Instagram terms and conditions sparked outrage, as it said users would have to “agree that a business may pay Instagram to display your photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions without any compensation to you”.

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After a number of notable users, including National Geographic, said they would be suspending their activity on the site, Instagram came out and said it would change the wording of its terms to make it clear it was not planning to sell photos.

Instagram backtrack

The Facebook-owned social/photo firm decided today to keep the old language in the section of its terms and conditions dealing with advertising, thus completing a full retreat from its original plans.

It will be pressing on with plans to implement advertising on the site, so it can start monetising the product.

“Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work,” a blog from Kevin Systrom, Facebook co-founder, read.

“You also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content. I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do.

“Finally, there was also confusion about how widely shared and distributed your photos are through our service. The distribution of your content and photos is governed by our privacy policy, and always has been. We have made a small change to our terms to make that as clear as possible.”

The new terms allow for advertising and for Instagram to make changes to the level of advertising on the service without telling users first. “You hereby agree that Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Service or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content,” the terms read.

“The manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you.”

So your Chrfistmas photos are safe! Try our Christmas quiz!

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