Arts + Life
4:38 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Instagram Reverts To Original Ad Terms After Uproar

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:31 am

Instagram is switching back to older terms of service relating to advertising after online outrage over changes earlier this week.

As we reported Tuesday, one of the top concerns expressed by users was whether their photos could be used in advertisements without their permission.

The company released updates to its privacy policy and terms of service Monday, and by Tuesday it had posted a statement in its blog trying to address the concerns that arose. "Legal documents are easy to misinterpret," it said. It also added:

"Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we'd like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. 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."

But Thursday the company had removed the new section on advertising completely, it announced in a statement posted by Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. Systrom apologizes for the company's failure to "communicate our intentions clearly" and says that the feedback it received prompted Instagram to go back to its original language. He says:

"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."

He also reiterated that Instagram has no intention of selling users' photos, "and we never did. We don't own your photos — you do."

The statement says the updated terms will take effect Jan. 19.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.