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Instagram Does Complete 180, Reverts to Original Advertising Terms of Service After Negative Feedback

by Brandon Russell | December 20, 2012December 20, 2012 4:44 pm PDT


Instagram wants to pretend that this whole ToS debacle never even happened. Because of enormous public outcry and threats of mass user exodus, the company on Thursday said it’s going to revert back to the language used in its original advertising section that’s been in effect since October 2010. So ignore the new terms, folks. The old ones are here to stay.

The problem stemmed from language surrounding terms that let users know that their likeness and photos could potentially be advertising fodder. This, for obvious reasons, did not sit well with many of Instagram’s millions and millions of users. To rectify the situation, the photo-sharing social network said it will revert back to its original terms back when the company first launched.

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“I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, we we never did,” said Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom. “We don’t own your photos—you do.”

Worth noting, however, is that Instagram does intend on pursuing potential ways to monetize the platform, which is to be expected. Going forward, Systrom said, the company will mull over its plans, “and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.”

At least for now, your pictures are off limits from advertiser hands, though Instagram’s “intention” not to sell user photos could always change. All the updated terms and privacy policy language will take effect on Jan. 19, 2013.

Systrom finished off his letter by saying how proud he is that the community spoke up with constructive feedback. Yes, Systrom built a wonderful product that millions of people use, and he has every right to look for possible advertising opportunities. But the community is what ultimately makes the platform tick and thrive.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...