Realising the extent to which this new policy was unfavourable with it’s users, Kevin Systrom Instagram’s CEO, posted to the company’s blog to set the record straight.
“To be clear, it is not our intention to sell your photos” he said.
He also mentions that the company is not intending to use pictures of its members in advertising and the language used in that part of the policy will be removed to avoid confusion.
Systrom did make one concession around advertising:
“Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.”
This push for advertising and revenue generation is the biggest change to the terms of service since Instagram’s acquisition by Facebook for a cool $735million earlier this year.
Facebook itself is criticised to no end for every little alteration they decide to make to their appearance, or their terms of service. It’s users become very vocal during times of change (we all witnessed the apparent outrage to the forceable changing to timeline!), but few ever seem to abandon the network – where would they go?
This is what Instagram need to hope for. The company currently has in the region of 100 million users, whom have uploaded some 5 billion photos. Are these users committed enough to stay put however, or is there scope to move elsewhere? German company EyeEm could provide a more appealing photo host, or perhaps good ol’ Flickr who just released a killer new smartphone app? Only time will tell, let’s just hope Zuckerberg has a plan B if he just squandered $735 million!