Instagram’s Systrom clarifies incoming guidelines

Instagram's co-founder responds to the concerns regarding the incoming user guidelines

NEW RULES. New guidelines make using Instagram a bit contentious.

MANILA, Philippines (Updated) – For those of you who read the earlier report about Instagram’s new terms of service and privacy policy, there looks to be some good news ahead.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom went on the Instagram blog Wednesday, December 19 (Manila time), to address the concerns people on social media networks had with the updated usage guidelines, explaining their intentions and making changes to address user backlash.

Systrom mentions that most of the issues appeared to stem from some less than stellar wording that caused misinterpretations of the legal text.

With regard to advertising on Instagram, Systrom assures people that the interpretation that Instagram was “going to sell your photos to others without any compensation” was unfounded.

Systrom explained further, “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.”

Regarding the idea of Instagram using account holders’ photos as part of an advertisement, Systrom added, “We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.”

Systrom also made it clear in his post that the ownership of photos on Instagram was the user’s and that nothing had changed with regard to privacy on Instagram.


Users of Instagram paid considerable attention to the updated guidelines, with notable users like National Geographic putting up images that mention them ceasing usage of the service. Prior to the announcement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also called on Instagram to reconsider, saying that the service violated “key principles” for social networking services.

Whether more changes or wording revisions are in the cards for Instagram’s user guidelines remains to be seen, but the start of a dialogue is always something worth having. – with reports from Agence France-Presse

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