Instagram has done a back flipped and promised it won’t sell users’ photos.
“You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content that you post on or through the service,” the new terms of service state.
“You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
This lead to a number of users which included celebrities to leave the photo-sharing service.
Instagram this morning backed away from any intention of selling users’ photos to advertisers and said it would not use photos in advertisements. But it did not rescind its intention to make use of members’ information and photos in some form.
It was reported that Pink, Mia Farrow and Taraji P Henson were among the stars who were turning their backs on Instagram after privacy conditions were changed.
In a post on Twitter Pink writes: “I WILL BE QUITTING INSTAGRAM TODAY. WHAT A BUMMER. YOU SHOULD ALL READ THEIR NEW RULES”.
It was also reported that actress Henson also sent out a warning to her followers, alongside a link to an article detailing the updated conditions.
“If this is true I will have to delete my acct (account). you have until January 16th to do so,” she tweeted while Farrow admits she has no problem dumping the photo-enhancement technology, writing, “A small pleasure: deleting my Instagram app.”
Instagram today sought to clarify its intentions, saying it will not sell 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.
Instagram contended that it is not claiming ownership of people’s pictures, just that it can do what it wishes with images.
Twitter and Instagram forums were ablaze with debate regarding whether to delete accounts before the new rules kick in.
“Bye-bye Instagram,” tweeted Scott Ninness. ”Who in their right mind will use a service that allows your images (to) be sold with no financial remuneration to you?”
“Everybody should continue using Instagram but just take blurry photos of sandwiches,” suggested a Twitter user by the screen-name Michele Catalano.
Some people “tweeted” in defense of Instagram, arguing that it is a “mega-business” that needs to make money.
Another Twitter user predicted that a handful of Instagram users will abandon the service and “everyone else will stick around”.
The move that would let advertisers work with people’s Instagram pictures comes as the service tries to channel people to its website to view posted images.
Instagram this month made it impossible for Internet users to view its images in messages at fired off at Twitter.
Instagram, which has some 100 million users, is seeking to route photo viewers to its own website, where it has the potential to make money from ads or other mechanisms, instead of letting Twitter get the benefits.
Previously, Instagram pictures shared in messages tweeted from smartphones could be viewed unaltered at Twitter.
Twitter responded by adding Instagram-style photo sharing features of its own.
Yahoo! joined the fray last week by making it more enticing for iPhone users to use its Flickr photo service.
Instagram rose to stardom with the help of Twitter, but has distanced itself from the messaging service since Facebook completed its acquisition of Instagram in September.
The original price was pegged at $US1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in the social network’s share price.