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Earlier this week, Facebook-owned photo app Instagram angered many users by changing its terms of service. Instagram first responded by promising not to sell user photos, and now it has reversed course entirely, saying it will not change its terms of service after all.
Mail Online's Damien Gayle noted, "There was outrage this week after the app published new terms on Monday which appeared to give it rights over all its users' photos and data to promote 'sponsored content.' Anyone who did not agree with the new terms were invited to delete their accounts. But the aggressive strategy failed when a string of high-profile celebrities users, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian and actor Seth Green, took to Twitter to say they would delete their Instagram accounts."
In his blog post, 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 also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content. 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."
But PCWorld's Ian Paul questioned the decision, writing, "User outrage prompted Instagram to revert to its original terms of service regarding advertising, but is Instagram's retreat good for you? Not necessarily. In fact, Instagram's older terms are more liberal than the newer version it wanted to implement. The older terms could give the company just as much license to control your content as before."