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Instagram tells users: We don't want to sell your photographs

There had been an outcry on social media after the photo-sharing service appeared to say it would use user photographs in advertisements.
Dec 19th 2012, 8:14 AM 6,677 24

PHOTO-SHARING SERVICE INSTAGRAM has told users that it does not want to sell their photographs after an outcry over the app’s new terms and conditions.

Instagram users took to social media yesterday to vent frustration over the planned changes which indicated that photographs taken by users could be used in third-party advertisements without the user’s consent.

A number of users said they would close their accounts over the changes.

However the company now denies that it was ever going to sell users’ photographs to advertisers without telling them.

“To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos,” Kevin Systrom, the co-founder of the company, said in a blogpost posted on its site late last night.

Systrom said that the intention behind changing the privacy policy and terms of service was to tell users that Instgram wants to experiment with “innovative advertising that feels appropriate”.

“Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation,” he wrote. “This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing.”

Systrom pointed out in the post that Instagram was “created to become a business” and “advertising is one of the many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business”.

Instagram said it is going to remove the language in the new policy which provoked the backlash.

The outcry highlights the difficulties faced by many social media companies which rely on user-generated content in order to make money.

Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion in April despite having no revenue at the time. It was seen as a major step in Facebook’s battle with Twitter over control of photo sharing on the internet – a rivalry which was heightened last week when Instagram disabled a feature which allowed users to integrate their images directly into tweets in a bid to increase views on its own platform.

A photograph taken on Instagram. (Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment)

Read: Instagram loses Kelly from Saved by the Bell… and One Direction could be next >

Read: Photo feud escalates between Instagram and Twitter >

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Christine Bohan


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