Instagram Caves, Does About Face on Terms of Service


Instagram has relented on Terms of Service objected to by many members, according to a message from its co-founder Kevin Systrom:

Earlier this week, we introduced a set of updates to our privacy policy and terms of service to help our users better understand our service. In the days since, it became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities – to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right.

The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.

Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010. You can see the updated terms here.

Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.

You also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content. I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do.

Finally, there was also confusion about how widely shared and distributed your photos are through our service. The distribution of your content and photos is governed by our privacy policy, and always has been. We have made a small change to our terms to make that as clear as possible.


  1. Gast says

    Isntagram is a business. They understand they need to navigate customer acceptance and adaptation, but they know where they want to go and we just had a glimpse of that. The control of your content is up to you. Instagram isn’t a safe-box.

  2. Bollux says

    No, Instagram was a sustainable working model that Facebook ASTRONOMICALLY overpaid for. Now, ZockSuckerberg needs to recoup something in light of that and his disastrous stock debacle. People need to stop carrying on with the mass-marketing schemes masquerading as something called “social media”. All those sites do is mined your personal data and preferences in order to tailor advertisement i.e. to sell your information in order to sell your product. And for what? So you can see umpteen LOLCAT postings and pictures of the cross-eyed baby of your fifth cousin-thrice removed? We survived for millennia without Instagram and Facebook. We wrote letters that outsiders didn’t glean and then try to sell us penmanship lessons. Puh-lease…with your Insta-book and Facey-place crap.

  3. unruly says

    “sub-license” rights have been taken by Instagram in its new and improved TOS. So they just buried the lede in this version verses just saying they are going to sell your photos.

  4. enough already says

    When stuck in a hole, first – stop digging.
    This just made things worse.
    Frankly, I now trust them even less than I did before.
    And that’s that – no second chance.

  5. CKNJ says

    I am also not buying it… I don’t trust them, and that is their own fault. They showed what is behind the curtain, which is good for us and bad for them, but it was the truth. They think what YOU have created is THEIRS to use and sell… and they will find ways to hide how they make that happen, but I am pretty sure they are still on board with their agenda.

    Account deleted and happy not to reinstate!

  6. Javier says

    This is a strategy often employed by social media. They caught our overreach and now we have to lie low and subsequently implement our program little by little so as to not freak anyone out In the end they will still see your photos and use it as their own personal property. Please look up the facebook policy, when they overreach they go back and gradually implement their programs little by little. The trust that you may or may not have in this service is at your own peril. Please just don’t anticipate privacy of your photos because this is something that they cannot promise and they will not promise either.

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