The popular online photography app, owned by Facebook, published new privacy conditions and user terms on Tuesday, sparking a furore among some users who vowed to close their accounts.
The new terms appeared to suggest Instagram had granted itself permission to start using users’ photographs in adverts royalty-free.
The paragraph of the new rules that caused most controversy read: “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
But Instagram sought to clarify its intentions on Wednesday, saying it will not sell users’ photos.
“Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote on the Instagram blog.
“Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation.
“This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing.
“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.”
Instagram also rejected claims user photographs would be used in adverts.
“We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question,” it added.
The company suggested its real aim in updating the user terms was to allow individual users and companies to pay to `promote’ their content, in the same way that’s currently allowed on Facebook and Twitter.
“We envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following,” it added.
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