Instagram users reassured over photo ownership

19 Dec 2012

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said the photo sharing app will not claim ownership of users’ photos, allaying fears prompted by changes in privacy policy and terms of service announced yesterday.

In a post on the company blog, Systrom assured users that they will continue to own their content and Instagram “does not claim any ownership rights over your photos”.

“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 said.

Systrom added that nothing has changed about the control users have over who can see their photos. If users have set their pictures to be private, they are only seen by people who they have approved to follow them.

The policy document also hinted that Instagram will be integrated into Facebook’s mobile advertising platform. The social network acquired Instagram for $1 billion in September.

Systrom said the updated terms of services were to communicate that Instagram intends to experiment with advertising appropriate to the service.

There are no plans to user photos in advertisements and the company will remove the wording in the updated privacy policy and terms of service that prompted some users to get this impression, it said.

To make promotions more relevant, Systrom noted that it may be useful to know which people users follow also follow a certain business. This means some of the data users produce – actions and profile photo – could show up if they follow a particular business.

The new privacy policy and terms of service are due to come into force 16 January 2013.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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