Instagram to change policy after user complaints

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

Many Instagram users are fired up, threatening to leave the service after the widely- used social network for sharing photos changed its terms of service, leading many of its users to believe their photos could be sold to advertisers.

The Facebook- owned app created a lot of buzz Monday with its new privacy settings, so much that just a day later, the company backtracked on the changes.

But for some users, it's not enough and they're still upset.

"I think that the filters are fun, I'm a graphic designer so all of that appeals to me, it's easy to upload the pictures I take to Facebook that way," Jennifer Price said of the popular app that has more than 100 million users. "That they're going to profit off all the pictures I've taken and all the creativity that's come out of my mind."

Monday, the new terms stated that data collected through Instagram could be shared with Facebook, after Facebook spent about a billion dollars to buy the app.

But the part angering some users says "a business or other entity may pay" Instagram for the use of user images and may do so "without any compensation to you."

Price said she's disturbed by the new terms, but she won't be leaving the service.

"A little frustrated and violated, but then again companies do that all the time," Price said.

However, not all users were as understanding as Price.

"I just think it's not really fair, because if your picture is going to end up on a Hallmark card or something, you want to get paid for it," Elissa Atchley said.

Atchley isn't alone, thousands of users deleting their accounts after hearing the new language, prompting Instagram to re- write it' new terms of service.

According to CNN, the company released a statement saying, “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."

Atchley said it better if it plans to keep her as an Instagram user.

"If it did stay this way I'd only take pictures of not really anything actually, I'd probably just delete it," she said.

Instagram is calling some of the new terms an overstatement, and the app has never carried ads or made much money, but since Facebook finalized the buy in September, it looks like now they are looking to finally turn a profit.

The new policy will take effect on January 16th. Users must accept the terms or leave Instagram.

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