Instagram Denies Plans To Sell Users' Pics
Instagram has said it will revise a planned update to its service agreement after a global backlash over rumours the company would sell users' photos.
There were thousands of complaints after claims the photo-sharing company, which is owned by Facebook, would start using individuals' photos in advertisements following a policy change taking effect on January 16.
The new terms, which would allow an advertiser to pay Instagram "to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata)" without compensation, caused users to leave the site, upset that it would make money from their uploaded content.
Many users, including celebrities like Mia Farrow, Seth Green and Kim Kardashian, said they had deleted their accounts as news of the changes emerged.
But in a blog posted on Tuesday the company's co-founder Kevin Systrom insisted it has no plans to sell users photos and apologised for the "confusing" language that had been used.
"To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear," he wrote.
Mr Systrom said the new terms were part of plans the app has to "experiment with innovative advertising".
The blog went on: "Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos."
The company has given users 30 days to provide feedback on the terms and said there will be more updates coming soon.
Facebook bought Instagram for £600m earlier this year.
The row has sparked renewed debate about how much control over personal data users must give up to live and participate in a world steeped in social media.