Instagram says no plans to put user photos in ads

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:22pm EST

A photo illustration shows the applications Facebook and Instagram on the screen of an iPhone in Zagreb April 9, 2012. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

A photo illustration shows the applications Facebook and Instagram on the screen of an iPhone in Zagreb April 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Antonio Bronic

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service owned by Facebook Inc, said on Tuesday it has "no plans" to incorporate user photos into ads in response to a growing public outcry over new privacy policies unveiled this week.

Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a blog post that users had incorrectly interpreted Instagram's revised terms of service, released on Monday, to mean that user photos would be sold to others without compensation.

"This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing," Systrom said. "To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

But Systrom said Instagram may display users' profile pictures and information about who they follow as part of an ad - a social marketing technique similar to what Facebook uses in its "sponsored stories" ad product.

He added that Instagram will not incorporate users' uploaded photos as ads because the service wants "to avoid things like advertising banners."

Instagram, which is free to use, triggered an uproar this week when it revised its terms of service in order to begin carrying advertising.

Facebook bought the fast-growing photo service - now with 100 million users - earlier this year in a cash-and-stock deal valued initially at $1 billion. The transaction closed in September at $715 million, reflecting a decline in the value of Facebook shares.

(Reporting By Gerry Shih; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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Comments (4)
Laurel_Hardy wrote:
The problem wasn’t that the language was confusing, the problem was that too many actually understood that the language was designed exactly for Facebook/Instagram to profit from the work of others. I’ve NEVER trusted Facebook, they have always, ALWAYS seemed to be ready to sell out their customers with the slightest provocation. So glad I have nothing to do with them.

Dec 18, 2012 6:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
scaber wrote:
“To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos.” It’s their intention to steal your photos for their profit. Facebook and Google keep attempting to sneak these provisions in their terms of service or privacy policies. They only back down when users and the media create negative press about it. These companies deserve to make a profit but it feels like they are always trying to sneak something past their users.

Dec 18, 2012 10:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DianeLHG wrote:
Their wording isn’t confusing: “a business may pay us to display your photos.”

Dec 19, 2012 6:10am EST  --  Report as abuse
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