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Instagram back-pedals after outrage over policy changes

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instagram is doing some back-pedaling after sparking outrage with big policy changes. There were concerns the photo-sharing service would soon be able to sell users' pictures to advertisers.

Instagram is the popular app that allows you to take photos, use filters to change their look and share with your friends.

This year, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion even though Instagram had never made a dime in ad revenue. The company announced a new terms of use to help bring in more revenue.

In the fine print, it says you agree that a business or other entity may pay Instagram to display your likeness or photo without compensation to you. Users revolted.

The fear, for example, is that you would take a picture of yourself at somewhere like the Burbank Village Entertainment Center, change the filters, post it to Instagram, say, "I love the Burbank Village Entertainment Center," and then Instagram could sell that photo to the Burbank Village Entertainment Center and not pay you anything.

"If it's going to be like that, then I'm going to delete my Instagram," said Elen Grigoryian of North Hollywood.

The site, which is a big hit with celebrities, saw many Tweeting their disapproval.

"Wow...I just read over Instagram's new policy...so sad, looks like I might be deleting my instagram after Jan 16. I hope something changes," said Khloe Kardashian Odom.

On Tuesday afternoon, something did. Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom posted a blog titled, "Thank you, and we're listening."

"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" he said. "Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed."

Instagram maintains that it's a business and it's clear it will change in some way to make money. What's not clear is how it will do that.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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