Instagram calms fears over photo use

Summary:Instagram appears to have calmed the backlash over its new privacy and terms of service policy after rejecting claims that it's going to sell users' photographs.

Popular online photography app Instagram caused controversy on Tuesday after publishing new rules that were widely interpreted as a plan to begin selling users' photos to third parties, royalty free.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom clarified the company's intentions on Wednesday, saying that there are no plans to sell user-generated content or to allow photos to be used in adverts.

"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," he wrote on the Instagram blog.

Instagram suggested that its real aim in updating the user terms is to allow individual users and companies to pay to promote their content, in the same way that's currently allowed on Facebook and Twitter.

Publicly listed company Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year , and is looking at ways to help bolster the photo app's revenue.

"We envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following," Systrom added.

Dave Holmes, who runs the popular @Australia Instagram account, said that Systrom's response should calm fear among users, many of whom have vowed to close their accounts.

"I don't think it will turn out to be as bad as people think," he told AAP. "For me personally, I am just happy to be attributed if/when any of my shots get used."

University of Melbourne social-media expert Dr Lauren Rosewarne suggested that the backlash would also be short lived.

"Like most things like this, I suggest that the market will sort itself out," she said.

Topics: Social Enterprise

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