Instagram Drops Plans to Allow User Photos in Advertising

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Justin Sullivan/Gettyimages
Justin Sullivan/Gettyimages

Instagram has announced that it will not change its policies on advertising in its upcoming Terms of Service and privacy policy update.

Company co-founder Kevin Systrom said in a blog post Thursday night that the section that had included new language on advertising will remain unchanged from the version that has been in effect since 2010. The San Francisco-based photo-sharing app, bought by Facebook this year for $1 billion, sparked a backlash among users when it released new language that seemed to indicate the company could include their content in advertising. That language has been eliminated from the Terms of Service and privacy policy update that will take effect Jan. 16, Systrom wrote.

Instagram had previously announced that it would be revising its policy update plans due to the controversy.

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

Here's the language that caused the kerfuffle:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

"I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do," Systrom wrote Thursday.