Instagram responds to user backlash over new privacy settings


Instagram (Credit: (Getty Images))

In response to backlash from users unhappy with planned privacy policy changes, Instagram's co-founder announced plans to modify the new terms to better serve its customers.

Instagram, the photo-sharing service bought by Facebook earlier this year, announced Monday that its new terms of service would expand its ability to share user information with its parent company.

However, some of the new policy, set to take effect on Jan. 16, 2013, had some Twitter users up in arms.

Instagram's co-founder Kevin Systrom later posted an update which read, "Since making these changes, we've heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean."

While the update clarifies that Instagram is a business and advertising is a way of earning revenue, "it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation," Systrom wrote.

The update clarifies that Instagram has no intention of selling photos or of using them as part of advertisements.

"Ownership Rights Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos," it says.

Initially, the photo sharing company's policy said, "To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."

In other words, businesses like casinos and hotels would be able to pay Instagram to use photos posted to the service in advertisements that will be displayed to people those users know.

Linking to an article on the subject in The Atlantic, Twitter user Kristina Wyckoff wrote, "I guess this is goodbye, @instagram. It was fun while it lasted, but I assure you: it's not me. It's you."

Another user, Leah C., recommended Instagram users revert to another photo-sharing service: "Seriously peeps, I know flickr became not a favorite a while ago, but you might want to check out their far less offensive TOS. #instagram."

The update vows to clarify the language in the new privacy policy so as to avoid confusion when it takes effect.

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