December 21st, 2012 04:14 PM
SAN FRANCISCO—Instagram on Thursday tried to calm a user rebellion by nixing a change that would have given the Facebook-owned mobile photo sharing service unfettered rights to people’s pictures.
“The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos,” Instagram co-founder and chief Kevin Systrom said in a blog post.
“There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work,” he continued.
Protests prompted Instagram to stick with wording in its original terms of service and privacy policies regarding advertising and to do away with some changes that were to take effect in January, according to Systrom.
“You also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content,” the Instagram chief said.
“I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos, you do.”
Instagram on Tuesday backed off a planned policy change that appeared to clear the way for the mobile photo sharing service to sell pictures without compensation, after users cried foul.
Twitter and Instagram forums buzzed over the phrasing, as users debated whether to delete their accounts before the new rules kicked in.
Originally proposed portions of the new policy that rankled users included “You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the content that you post on or through the service.”
The terms also stated that “a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos, and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”
Instagram said that the policy changes to take effect in January were part of a move to better share information with Facebook, which bought the company this year.
The original price was pegged at $1 billion but the final value was less because of a decline in the social network’s share price.
“I’m proud that Instagram has a community that feels so strongly about a product we all love,” Systrom said while apologizing to users and promising the offensive policy changes were gone.