Facebook's mobile photo-sharing service responds to yesterday's angry accusations.
The term reads: "Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, 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."
In actuality, the firm plans to enable brands and consumers to promote their photos and accounts through campaigns, presumably similar to the formats offered by Twitter and Facebook. Thus, this would allow users to see mutual followers and other data, like photos, as an 'ad'.
Concerned co-founder of the startup, Kevin Systrom, has responded to the claims to say that the reports are hugely inaccurate: "Since making these changes, we’ve heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean. Legal documents are easy to misinterpret, so I’d like to address specific concerns we’ve heard from everyone.
"From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one. 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.
"The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question. Our main goal is to avoid things like advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.
"Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period."
The foul-up comes at an unfortunate time for Instagram, with newfound rival Twitter recently launching photo filters of its own.