Instagram Backtracks on User Photos
By Heather Kelly
“Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010,” said Systrom in a post announcing the change.
On Monday, the Facebook-owned app updated its terms of service to say companies could pay Instagram to use members’ images in ads without compensating the photographers. Instagram claimed the update was to allow the company to experiment with possible future advertising options, and was not part of any current plan to sell images.
“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,” Systrom said in Thursday’s post.
The old advertising section that has been reinstated still says the company can place ads on the service and that “the manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you,” leaving the company with some wiggle room for future changes.
This announcement comes two days after another mea culpa post by Systrom, in which he apologized for the confusion and reassured Instagram users that they still owned their images and that the company was hearing the feedback loud and clear.
The severity of users’ reactions to the change seemed to catch Instagram off guard, though the cycle of a policy change announcement followed by user backlash and then an apology is familiar territory for its parent company, Facebook.