Instagram to revise service agreement after global backlash

Photo-sharing company Instagram has denied it plans to sell its users’ pictures after a global backlash over rumours the company would sell users’ photos.

Instagram denies plans to sell its users' pictures.
Instagram denies plans to sell its users' pictures.

Instagram has said it will revise a planned update to its service agreement after a global backlash over rumours the company would sell users' photos.

There were thousands of complaints after claims the photo-sharing company, which Facebook bought for £600m, would start using individuals' photos in advertisements following a policy change taking effect on January 16.

The new terms, which would allow an advertiser to pay Instagram "to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata)" without compensation, caused users to leave the site, upset that it would make money from their uploaded content.

But in a blog posted on Tuesday, the company's co-founder Kevin Systrom insisted it has no plans to sell users photos and apologised for the "confusing" language that had been used.

"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," he wrote.

"Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos."

The company has given users 30 days to provide feedback on the terms and said there will be more updates coming soon.

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