Instagram Retracts its Terms of Use Policy in Response to Public Outcry


Less than a week after the announcement that Instagram had decided to go back to its previous terms of service, the leading photo social network responded to users by retracting this decision. Why? The earlier use terms included a clause that indicated users’ images were subject to sale to the highest bidding advertisers without actual compensation or credit to users. It also brought attention once again to copyright rules in relation to images shared online in public social networks.

This did not sit well with the thousands of users who utilize the service for photo sharing, nor did it bode well with content marketing professionals who share their infographics and branded imagery on what has been the most popular photo sharing network to date.

The section of the Instagram terms of service policy that caused members to raise a huge stink was written as the following:

“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 a heartfelt blog post to users, CEO and Co-founder Kevin Systrom advised users that Instagram would recall the 2010 terms of use policy that eliminates this contentious clause. An audible sigh was heard around the world, especially from content and image marketers.

It’s clear from this quick response that Instagram, recently acquired by Facebook, is doing its best to listen to consumers and online marketers who use this network. Users have been advised to back up their photos and take steps to protect their personal information — an action also reflected on Facebook’s updated privacy settings in December. Yet, there is still some confusion as to how Instagram can best fit into the advertiser-driven model that Facebook is morphing into.

While it has been reported that Instagram lost approximately one-fourth of its users, rest assured that this popular image sharing network will continue to attract a rising number of content marketers in the coming year. That is, if the CEO remains focused on providing a place to do this, without fear of losing ownership of images.

In Systrom’s direct message to users, Instagram indicated it will release a revised terms and privacy policy on January 19, 2013.

Image Credit: njaj /

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