HumanIPO reported yesterday that the site, which was acquired by Facebook three months ago, was changing its terms of service to allow photos to be used to generate revenue without users’ permission.
Instagram has, however, made an about-face and said it will remove the relevant clauses, with co-founder Kevin Systrom attributing the withdrawal to confusion over the new terms.
“It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation,” company co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post. “This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing.”
He added: “The language we proposed also raised a question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language in question. Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience.”
The “confusion” stems from a passage in the new terms of service announced on Monday, which noted: “Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, 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.”
This prompted uproar on social media, with the news resulting in a sizeable backlash and many deleting their Instagram accounts. Even celebrities joined in the chorus of disapproval, with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Lauren Conrad and Anderson Cooper.