Instagram to Users: We Won't Sell Your Pics, but...
The photo-sharing app, which is owned by Facebook, wanted to make it very clear that they would not be selling users' images like stock photography but also made it clear that Instagram is still a business and it will be using user data in some form to profit. (Read More: Facebook, Twitter Go to War With Instagram Push )
"From the start, Instagram was created to become a business. Advertising is one of many ways that Instagram can become a self-sustaining business, but not the only one," Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a blog post on the company's website.
Systrom said he envisions Instagram using user information in a way that would help make better advertisements. For example, he said that if a business wanted to "promote" or advertise their account on Instagram, it would help Instagram make a more targeted ad if users could see which of the people they follow also follow that business.
The company also said that it would not be featuring users' images as part of an advertisement and said that it would remove the language that " raised the question" regarding this issue.
The "language" Instagram is most likely referring to is the section where it stated the following in its Revised Terms of Service:
"To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."
While the company said it doesn't want to sell users' images or use their pics as part of an advertisement, it has not yet made clear exactly what it can do with users' images, but said that it would "modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos."
Systrom said Instagram plans to release the revised version of the terms of service soon.