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Instagram speaks out: “It is not our intention to sell your photos”

After causing uproar yesterday with its new terms of service, social photo sharing service Instagram has made an attempt to clear up any confusion or anger directed its way from users.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom has spoken out to clarify the new terms, which when looked at in detail actually seem better than those that exist right now. “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 acknowledged that the wording used in the new terms of service is poor, and that the company is to blame for the backlash from its user base. However, he makes clear that the company cannot sell your photos on for cash – this is written in the terms, but is worded in a way which could imply otherwise.

He also wants users to know that the company won’t be using their images in adverts without consent. “The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement,” he says. “We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.”

Rather than sourcing its huge database of user uploaded images for any future adverts, the company is looking to try out different advertising types to monetise the service without annoying users with ads. Again, the language used in the terms caused this to be misconstrued. It seems what the company really wants to do is “match” you with adverts, similarly to how Google does with its targeted ads.

“Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.”

You can read the full post from Systrom right here, and if you’re a concerned Instagram user then we’d suggest you do.

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