Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has issued a statement claiming the photo-sharing site would further modify its usage terms after earlier changes provoked mass upset yesterday on social media.
It was widely thought that Instagram was prepared to use photographs (uploaded by individuals) as they pleased, as if their property – but a recent statement quells this.
The changes to its usage terms, published yesterday (18 December), led to threats of a mass exodus of users.
A blog post penned by Systrom in response to the furore reads: “As we review your feedback and stories in the press, we’re going to modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos.
“Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. 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.”
The post goes on to reveal that the changes are feared towards introducing services letting “both users and brands” promote their photos and accounts to increase engagement and boost their audience on the photo-sharing site.
“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,” reads the post.
He went on to add that Instagram had no plans include users’ photos as part of any ads that would appear on the site that the company was working on updated language to further clarify the updated terms and conditions, which are scheduled to take effect as of 16 January, 2013.
He went on to further clarify Instagram’s policies over content ownership rights and privacy settings claiming that “nothing has changed” in either regard.
“Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos,” reads the post.
“If you set your photos to private, Instagram only shares your photos with the people you’ve approved to follow you.”