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Instagram Founder: Your Photos Are Your Photos



After an enormous backlash from users who believed that the company’s change of its Terms of Service would permit it to sell user photos, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom has clarified the company’s new policy saying that the photos users upload to Instagram are their photos and that the company will not, as was previously thought, be selling them to third parties.

In a blog post, Systrom has soothed the fears of those who believed that Instagram’s new Terms of Service, which will kick in in 30 days, would allow the company to sell images uploaded through the service to third party companies. Systrom, acknowledging that users were both confused and upset by the news, says that that the company will not be selling images once the new ToS policy goes into effect.


Instagram says that photos, like the one taken above, are owned by its users.

Instead, he says that the company’s service is used by both “creative artists and hobbyists” and that the company respects “that your photos are your photos. Period.” That is part of a lengthier explanation that states that:

Our intention in updating the terms was to communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram. Instead it was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. 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.

Systrom also claims that the company currently does not have any plans to include photos in any form of advertisement. He says that the company will remove any language in the Terms of Service that may have alluded to that being the case as well. Users should still expect some form of advertising in the future as Systrom still says the company is going to experiment with some innovative advertising.

So while the hullabaloo over Instagram’s new Terms of Service looks to be over, at least for now, users still looking to use another service similar to Instagram will find plenty of options including Streamzoo which we find to be a viable alternative.

And for those that are sticking around, it’s probably safe to start posting photos of food again. Those that don’t already have the application can find it for iOS and also, for Android.

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