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Instagram responds to claims user images will be sold to advertisers

instagramthumbInstagram has responded to a massive user backlash over new policy terms that would allow the sale of users photos to advertisers without compensation.

Hordes of fans of the photo-sharing network turned to Facebook (which actually owns Instagram) and Twitter to vent their frustration.

The outrage all started when Instagram changed its privacy policy and terms of service.

In particular it was these clauses that upset users:

“You hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free transferrable, sub-licensable, worldwide licence to use the content that you post through the service.

“You agree that a business or the 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.”

Users were angered at the notion their photos would be sold to advertisers

As soon as users read these lines it started a tidal wave of anger with many users stating their intention to delete their Instagram accounts before the new terms were due to become active on January 16.

But Instagram was quick to defend its actions and issued a statement today where it admitted “it is our mistake that this language is confusing”.

“Since making these changes, we’ve heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean,” the statement read.

You can read the entire Instagram statement here.

Instagram was quick to explain advertising, ownership rights and privacy settings in the statement.

In terms of advertising, Instagram says it is experimenting with “innovative advertising” that will only be seen on Instagram.

The bottom line is that Instagram will not be selling your photos so the perception that your artfully created images will be appearing on billboards, magazines and in TV ads is just wrong.

Instead Instagram wants to allow advertisers to build a more meaningful following and the fact some users are following certain businesses may be seen by your other Instagram friends.

As far as ownership of your Instagram photos go, users have always and will continue to own their own content. Instagram has never claimed ownership of your photos.

Privacy settings are also the same with users having the same control over who can and can’t see their images.

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