Instagram Reverts to Old Advertising Policy After Backlash

The old document was actually more permissive in some respects

By on December 21st, 2012 09:34 GMT

Instagram had already explained that the proposed policy changes didn't mean it could sell your photos and that it needs to run ads to make a living, even if it's been acquired by sugar daddy Facebook.

Now, it's made some changes to the proposed documents, reverting to the original policy in some parts.

"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," Instagram's founder Kevin Systrom explained.

This will be enough for most people but, to be clear, the new change doesn't mean Instagram won't show ads, the original terms of use already states that it can run ads alongside your content.

It also makes it clear that Instagram can change how the ads look and work without any notification.

However, Systrom says that any big changes to the service will first be thought out and then explained to users, before asking for their permission.

"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," he explained.

He went on to ensure, once again, that Instagram won't sell your photos and that it never had any plans to. Finally, he explained that photos will be as widely available as they have always been and that users can control this.

The changes and the apology should do enough to pacify users, but in practical terms not much has changed. The original version of the terms of use document was actually more permissive about ads than the proposed one that caused the uproar.

The changes actually restricted some use, though they did allow Instagram to run "unmarked" ads. In the end, all of this could have been avoided by Instagram using plain English in the documents or at least communicating the changes better.

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