Instagram Backtracks: Terms Of Service Reverted Due To User Outcry

Instagram is backtracking on a terms of service policy change after users publicly voiced their outrage.

ABC News reports that this week saw users of the photo-sharing app waging virtual war against the service for tweaking their terms of service. The policy was scheduled to go into effect in January, but certain verbiage in the update caused a mass negative reaction.

The outcry was strong enough to cause Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, to assure fans of the popular service that the offending terms would see revision. Taking that promise a step further on Thursday, Systrom apologized for the misunderstanding and announced that the company will revert the service terms back to the original wording.

In a statement posted on Instagram’s blog, Systrom wrote:

“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. 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.”

According to CNN, the backlash came from wording that inferred Instagram could accept money from advertisers for the use of photos shared by members of the service. The terms also stated that no compensation would be given to the person who actually took the photograph.

Instagram responded to concerns by saying the new terms were taking place to allow for advertising options with no immediate plans to sell images. Still, the anger from jilted users was brutal and caused the company to rethink its strategy. In his blog statement, Systrom reiterated the company’s plans for better communication:

“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.”

How do you feel about Instagram backtracking on its terms of service update?