Instagram web profile (screenshot 001)

There has been a whole lot of hoopla surrounding Instagram’s newly updated terms of services, with commenters warning the new rules might give the popular Facebook-owned photography service the right to share your data with third-parties and – worse – sell your Instagram photos without compensating you. Does Facebook really intend to turn Instagram into a stock photo service that doesn’t pay a dime to photographers?

Cowed by privacy outrage, hours after releasing the new terms the company’s co-founder responded by shedding more light on the matter. In a blog post, he makes it clear that Instagram does not intend to sell its users photos while sharing interesting tidbits concerning Instagram’s advertising strategy…

Co-founder Kevin Systrom writes in a blog post:

Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. We respect that your photos are your photos. Period.

By the way, you may still appear in ads because “from the start, Instagram was created to become a business”.

However, Instagram has no plans to make your photos part of an advertisement so it’s going to “remove the language that raised the question”.

I guess my question would be: why allow the problematic language to appear in the privacy policy in the first place? As for ads, there are no plans for in-app advertising banners that “would hurt the Instagram user experience”.

There you have it.

So, just how exactly does Facebook expect to monetize Instagram with ads?

Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business.

The upcoming data sharing with Facebook should help with that.

This bit is important.

In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.

In order to bring clarity to today’s brouhaha, Instagram will once again update its terms of service to “modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos”. The new terms will take effect 30 days from now.

Hopefully this eliminates the confusion so we can all put the matter to rest.

Still upset?

Vent your frustration down in the comments.

  • Sh¡t! I already deleted my account. Oh well. It was liberating. Maybe I’ll kill Facebook next! #couldhappen

    • Ace

      Judging from your avatar, I don’t think anyone will ever want to “sell” your photos.

      • Because he doesn’t pose like a little girl who has just discovered a camera?

      • Ace

        You don’t have to like my smile, females do.

      • Yes

        You just get downvoted anyways, so shut up for now.

    • It was a bit liberating. Already considering deleting Facebook. Also, what’s with the hashtag? This is just iDownloadblog, not Twitter.

  • To the folks who are thinking twice about having deleted their accounts: Deleting your account was a good thing – if nobody cared, they wouldn’t change their mind. That said, I’m not in the slightest bit convinced yet.

    From the blog: “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret.”

    The problem is that people read your document, and didn’t like it. Not that they misinterpreted it. If, as they go on to state, this was NEVER their intention – then their own wording was grossly incorrect. It’s not a “misinterpretation” to call them out on vastly overreaching in a legal document.

  • It was really a misunderstood or they’re just cleaning the mess they did…?

  • AppleBits

    I’m certainly no pro photographer (by a long shot), but I do like to play my hand at photo art. So yea…the “misinterpreted” blah blah was troubling…in many ways. I haven’t deleted my account yet, but I have added a new one to tadaa, which seems like it might just be a really great photo sharing app for those of us wanting to.

  • Unfortunately, as they “thought” about doing it, and they must have talked with the Zuk-man, because the wording, if confusing, is double-talk confusing.

    I deleted my account, and I will not be going back. If they want to shoot themselves in the feet, I’m not going to pick up the spent shells. Leave that to FaceBook!

  • They’re not gonna be selling your photos, Facebook is 😀

  • Breana Hartin

    Thoughtful article . Apropos , if your company has been looking for a a form , my family filled out and esigned a template version here