Instagram Scraps Changes Amid Outcry Over Consent

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 10:57 PM

 

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Facebook’s Instagram photo service is scrapping proposed changes to its service terms after an outpouring of complaints that the company would use the new policies to sell images and other content to advertisers without users’ consent.

“The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos,” Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder, wrote in a blog. “There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.”

Instagram unveiled a new privacy policy and service terms on Dec. 17 that it said would give advertisers more flexibility in using photos, user names and likenesses in ads. The changes reflect pressure on Facebook, the largest social network, to wring profit from its Instagram acquisition and reverse a sales- growth slowdown. Users fretted that the company would use the new language to sell their images to the highest bidder.

Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg agreed to buy Instagram for about $1 billion in cash and stock this year. Instagram, with more than 100 million users, lets people upload and manipulate photos for sharing over the Web.

Legions responded to the proposed changes by threatening to leave before the new terms were to take effect on Jan. 16. Instagram had proposed that people must agree to let an advertiser “display your user name, likeness, photos” in ads or sponsored content without paying the users, or asking for their permission.

Systrom initially responded to the backlash on Dec. 18, saying in a blog that the new terms would remove language suggesting that photos would appear in advertising.

A later post went further, saying that the advertising section of its terms of use will revert to the original version, in place since October 2010.

“Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work,” Systrom wrote.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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