After sparking a storm of protest with changes to its terms of service that appeared to allow Instagram to sell users’ images, founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced Tuesday evening that the terms will revert to their original version.
The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service unleashed a user revolt earlier this week when it said it was claiming perpetual rights to sell users’ photographs without notification or compensation.
That new policy would have given Instagram the right to use subscribers’ content in advertising for itself and third-party businesses, “effectively transforming the Web site into the world's largest stock photo agency,” as CNet put it.
In a company blog post late Thursday, Systrom issued an apology: "It became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities -- to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right."
Systrom had already back-pedaled from the new terms on Wednesday in response to the user backlash that broke out across the Web, insisting the company never intended to turn photos into advertising. In his latest post, he vowed Instagram would come back to users to explain how its advertising business will work once it sets its plans.