Instagram responds to clamor around TOS changes
Instagram has updated its blog with a post from co-founder Kevin Systrom that attempts to soothe concerns that the social photo-sharing service was about to start selling users' images.
"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. 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."
The reworded terms of service language that caused the uproar specifically stated: "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."
But Instagram's latest response seems to compare its intentions to an advertising model akin to Facebook, which just officially completed its aquisition of Instagram three months ago. Systrom explained that a potential scenario:
"Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business."
Instagram's new policies are set to go into effect 30 days from now, and Systrom claims the service will spend that time rephrasing them.