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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Instagram Backtracked on Stealing Images from Facebook

The popular photo-sharing service Instagram has backtracked on its plan. Instagram, now owned by Facebook, had an intention to use Facebook’s terms and conditions in order to steal pictures uploaded by users and flog them for profit.

In other words, the snaps taken by ordinary people and published for their friends to see might suddenly find themselves in mainstream advertising campaigns. Worse still, the content creators wouldn’t get a penny.

In addition, as you know, there was a growing public outcry about Facebook’s new privacy policies – some of the social network’s members were even considering the idea to delete their images and to abandon the website. They argue that they don’t put their pictures and those therefore can’t be used by Instagram. The matter is that the privacy policy was worded in such a way that it would make it difficult for users to take any class actions, at least in the United States. Local media revealed that Instagram insisted it had no plans to incorporate someone’s photos into advertisements.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, explained that users had incorrectly interpreted their revised terms of service. He promised that user snaps wouldn’t be sold without compensation. The company claimed that it wasn’t their intention to sell the pictures. Its developers are currently working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.

However, Instagram confirmed that it can display member’s profile photos and data about who it follows as part of an advert. In fact, it’s the same social marketing technique which Facebook uses in its “sponsored stories” advertisement product. However, the company won’t incorporate users’ uploaded pictures as adverts since the service is trying to avoid things like advertising banners.

Facebook has purchased the fast-growing photo-sharing service in a cash-and-stock deal valued initially at $1 billion.