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Technology
Instagram Scraps Plans To Sell Your Photos To Advertisers And Goes Back To Its Original Terms Of Use
December 21, 2012
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Well, score one for the people.

After days of public anger and backlash, Instagram has scrapped plans to potentially use your photos in ads.

This week, the company announced it was making changes to its terms of use as of mid-January.

The proposed changes suggested that any pictures you upload could be sold to advertisers, without notifying or paying you.

So, in theory, advertisers could display your name, likeness, photos or text in ads, marketing campaigns or sponsored content.

That didn't go over well with users, and Instagram moved quickly to try to clarify things - saying it had no intention of selling anyone's photos.

It also promised to revise its policy, and would update people soon. But that wasn't good enough for users.

Many took to Twitter using the hashtag #quitstagram and threatened to close their Instagram accounts and switch to other photo-sharing sites such as Flickr or Starmatic.

Even basketball star LeBron James and Kim Kardashian joined the criticism.

"I really loved Instagram," Kardashian wrote on her Twitter page. "I need to review this new policy. I don't think it's fair."

Well today, Instagram backed down (for now) and is going back to its original terms of use that have been in place since the company started in October of 2010.

The company's co-founder Kevin Systrom posted a blog saying "The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos."

"It became clear that we failed to fulfil what I consider one of our most important responsibilities - to communicate our intentions clearly," he wrote.

"I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right."

But that doesn't mean changes aren't coming eventually.

Systrom said the terms and conditions will have to change in the future as the company explores new ways of making money.

But he promised to keep users fully informed of any plans.

"There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work," Systrom wrote.

"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."

You can see the current terms of use here.

Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year for about $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram has more than 100 million users.

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