The wording that started the uproar was as follows:
“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.”
With such a statement, you know nothing good is going to come out of it. Was Instagram just hoping people would not read their TOS before it went live? The users thought the best way to bring it to their attention was to delete their accounts in waves before the new updated terms go live on January 16, 2013.
Well it worked, Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram just released an official response:
“Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. 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.”
It’s obvious they’re backtracking very quickly, because there is no way they can blame the issue on everyone’s misinterpretation of a very straightforward statement. They were caught trying to sneak something in, and now they’re having to fix it, much like the privacy mishaps that Facebook has had in the past.
For now the line in question still appears under the rights section of the updated terms. We will just have to wait and see if and when they update it, and if the new wording leads us to believe they have changed their plans for Instagram. If they don’t, there will be so many account closures that we will have to find a new place to visit on the Internet to find out what people are eating.