Instagram Reverses Terms And Conditions After Users' Outrage

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Instagram has reversed controversial changes to its terms of service that left many convinced it was planning to either sell users' photos or use them in advertising.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing site caused outrage online when it announced its new terms on Monday.

Under the new terms, Instagram would have been able to:

  • Share information about its users with Facebook, advertisers and other companies
  • Use your photos and likeness for advertisements without your knowledge - including underage users
  • Use your photos for ads which are not labelled ads

And while the site denied that it was planning to sell its users' photos, it later admitted that its language was "confusing".

But even that failed to quell the negative reaction - and now co-founder Kevin Systrom has bluntly apologised for the way the changes were communicated.

In a blog post, he wrote:

"It became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities - to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right."

He added that the company recognised the "real concerns" of its users.

"There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work," he said.

"Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010. You can see the updated terms here."

He went on:

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.

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.

Instagram's now-current terms and conditions can be read here.

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