Instagram to world: perhaps we should have been more clear.
“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. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata) on your behalf.”
From there, Systrom delved into Instagram’s approach to advertising. “Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram,” he wrote. “To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”
But Systrom did tackle the question of whether user photos can end up incorporated into advertising:
“The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question. Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.”
But is the damage already done? Some high-profile Instagram users have already expressed concern over the policy changes. “@NatGeo is suspending new posts to Instagram,” National Geographic posted Dec. 18. “We are very concerned with the direction of the proposed new terms of service and if they remain as presented we may close our account.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of regular users took to Twitter and Facebook, claiming they’d already shut down their accounts. If Instagram can’t calm their fears, it could see an even larger exodus in weeks ahead.