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Instagram terms clarified: "It is not our intention to sell your photos"

Luke Johnson



Photo based social network Instagram has spoken out on its upcoming change of terms and conditions, telling users that "it is not our intention to sell your photos."

Speaking via a blog post entitled ‘Thank you, and we’re listening’, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has quashed reports that a change in conditions would see the company given the right to sell users’ images without their consent, notification or compensation paid.

Unveiled yesterday, December 18, the new Instagram terms and conditions, which will come into action next month, appeared to give the company ownership rights over all user uploaded images, granting them permission to sell the pictures and use them in advertising materials without any payment to their creator.

Suggesting that “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret,” Systrom has looked to clarify Instagram’s new rules, claiming that the upcoming service changes have been widely misrepresented.

“It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation,” Systrom said. “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.”

Claiming that Instagram is currently “working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear,” Systrom added that the Facebook owned company was simply looking “to experiment with innovative advertising.”

“The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.

“Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.

Creating a widespread user backlash, many Instagram users yesterday took to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the changing conditions of the photo-themed social site. Many famous faces and well known personalities were seemingly distressed by the Instagram changes, suggesting they would delete their accounts in order not to lose rights to their images.

Speaking via Twitter NBA basketball star LeBron James wrote “So I hear IG will start selling photos that posted for their own profit. Is this correct? If so then me out and everyone I know will be OUT!!”

The Miami Heat player’s comments were echoed by many with fellow sports star, England Rugby Union international James Haskell Tweeting: “So as Instagram has gone all uncool and arsey, is there another program to use that won’t sell you out.”

Although Instagram, through co-founder Kevin Systrom, has now looked to rectify concerns, yesterday’s troubles are expected to have a considerable knock-on effect to the brand with many users turning towards the new Instagram-style filters integrated into Twitter, or the recently launched Flickr app.

Are you an avid Instagram user? Did yesterday’s fears of photo selling and loss of ownership cause you to turn your back on the social service? Let us know via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.

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