Instagram: We won't be selling your photos

A massive firestorm of Internet hate started up late on Monday, and all of it was directed at Instagram. It began when it was revealed that upcoming changes to the online photo service's privacy policy and terms of service indicated that Instagram would have the right to sell any photos uploaded on Instagram to advertisers without giving any compensation to the photo's owners.

Now, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has posted a message on the company's official blog to try to stop the bleeding. He now claims Instagram won't be selling your photos after all. Systrom did say, "As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos."

Systrom also said Instagram is planning to "experiment with innovative advertising" methods and the Terms of Service are being modified to reflect that. He added:

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.

Systrom also wrote that people still own the photos they upload on Instagram and that will not change in the future. Finally, he said that the service's privacy settings will not change and that photos people upload to their accounts will only be seen by the people approved to see them.

It appears like Instagram didn't think through these new changes to its Terms of Service. The big question is how many customers will believe Instagram's viewpoint and how many will leave anyway.

Source: Instagram blog | Image via Android Community

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So, everyone was OK when instagram sold to facebook which encompassed literally selling everyones photos.. but nobody is OK with facebook selling individual photos

Instagr.am will continue to find ways to make money off of you. Facebook has angry investors and they want to make money off the $1 Billion investment. So get ready for more of this

We're social Media and we can control your life and take your photo's and use them for whatever purpose we feel like to generate extra income for us.

Facebook already owns your name for advertising eg: "Your Name here" likes "our advertisers product".

basically if you want to keep your photo's private then do not publish them online.

I think Instagram's intentions were to originally use your photos for their purpose, now they are facing a huge backlash from users and are now backtracking. Face it Google & Bing have been using your images for free, they are not directly selling your photos but the ads on the image search pages do create revenue for Google & Bing .

Don't bet anything on that. People, for whatever reason, seem to forget. When you put "it" out on the Internet it is there for the whole world to see.

Huh, so you can change the meaning of a ToS agreement because people didn't understand it? What happens when someone doesn't read insurance/bank policies? Can we jut go oops! Language was confusing! All good, here's your money!

"Systrom also said Instagram is planning to "experiment with innovative advertising" methods"

Yeah, because this has proved successful so far. All Facebook and Twitter do with each iteration of their "innovative" advertising methods is annoy more and more users, and now Instagram follows.

Why can't you just offer an honest paid option? I'd be the first to sign up as I really like the service, but instead, I'll be forced to look at photos I didn't choose to subscribe to. Grr.

Nice wording,... "it is not our intention to sell your photos" Makes me wonder what their 'intention' was based on the original...

"Let's throw this out there and hope no one notices."

"Oops, they noticed!"

"Woah, we're losing accounts left & right. Initiate damage control!"

"We never intended to convey the idea that we will use your photos for advertisements without any compensation to you, although that is exactly what we said."

I know, right!

As if no legal team read though this new updated ToS… How can they not mean it? Did they first write it in Zulu, translated it into English, and got lost is translation? Give me a break. Just say "We screwed up. Sorry."

What if they offered the photos to advertisers as a perk to their payment ? Or maybe they'll use tags and include images in advertising for your friends.

im with you .... companies will do anything to use you like a cheap whore... facebook uses people as advertising all the time ... saying my friends liked a page and my friends havent even seen the page in their life let alone liked it ...

ingramator said,
Only an idiot would be so naive to think they weren't capable of doing it.

As well, only an idiot would automatically assume that this follow-up is just a lie after they "got caught".

Too often, whenever the Internet goes "AH HAH!" and thinks they've found foul play, nothing will ever change their mind. It's the same old boring crap where, once someone comes to a conclusion, they shut their mind off to any new information. If they can't avoid it, they will twist it to fit their conclusion. If they are unable to do so, they trivialize it. If that fails, they bristle and balk and turn to vitriol.

People are incredibly boring and predictable. On the internet, comically so.

SPEhosting said,
im with you .... companies will do anything to use you like a cheap whore... facebook uses people as advertising all the time ... saying my friends liked a page and my friends havent even seen the page in their life let alone liked it ...

No, your friends have definitely Liked the Page, if they're showing up in adverts for it. They could have Liked it by accident, but they definitely Liked it. These rumours have already been debunked by Facebook themselves, so I would ask your friends for proof if I were you.

Calum said,

No, your friends have definitely Liked the Page, if they're showing up in adverts for it. They could have Liked it by accident, but they definitely Liked it. These rumours have already been debunked by Facebook themselves, so I would ask your friends for proof if I were you.

it was actually in a news report I was not specificlly saying my friends but it was easier then explainning it apprently fb has since stopped it i will see if i can find it

SPEhosting said,

it was actually in a news report I was not specificlly saying my friends but it was easier then explainning it apprently fb has since stopped it i will see if i can find it


Yeah it was a news report I saw about it in which they quoted Facebook who stated that the users probably Liked the pages by accident (e.g. accidentally tapping their screen while in the mobile app)

I certainly wouldn't discount the users who feel they're sure they didn't Like the Pages by accident, but I'd have to see proof to believe it, as Facebook's explanation does seem plausible to me