Instagram says users' photos won't appear in ads

Dec 19, 2012 by Barbara Ortutay
In this Monday, April 9, 2012, file photo, Instagram is demonstrated on an iPhone, in New York. Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service that Facebook bought this year, is the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after the company announced Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 a change in its user agreement that hinted that it might use shared photos in ads. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof, File)

Instagram says it will revise a planned update to its service agreement after confusion about its intent led to widespread user complaints.

At issue is whether users' photos can be part of advertisements, on and off Instagram. The mobile photo-sharing company said in a blog post Tuesday that it has no plans to put users' photos in advertisements.

That said, Instagram maintains that it was created to become a business and would like to experiment with various forms of advertisements to make money.

The new policy will take effect Jan. 16.

Developments in photo-sharing service Instagram

This week, Instagram announced new policies to reflect its growth and new ownership. Some of the changes regarding how members' photos may be used in ads sparked complaints on and elsewhere. Here's a look at key developments in Instagram's service.

— April 3: Instagram, a photo-sharing social network accessed on smartphones, arrives on Android devices after starting out as an app available only on Apple gadgets such as the .

— April 9: Facebook Inc. announces plans to buy Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.

— May 18: Facebook's stock begins trading publicly. After a small increase on its first day, the tumbles amid concerns about the company's ability to keep growing revenue.

— Aug. 22: Federal government clears Instagram deal. Because of Facebook's falling stock price, the $1 billion cash-and- drops to about $750 million.

— Aug. 31: closes on its Instagram deal, which by then is worth about $715 million—$300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock.

— Nov. 5: Instagram expands to the Web, though in limited form. Previously, users' profiles existed only on Instagram's . With the change, users have a website with a profile photo, bio and a selection of the snapshots they've recently shared on Instagram, though they can't follow other users or upload photos.

— Monday: Instagram announces new terms of service and privacy policy to take effect Jan. 16. Users and privacy advocates complain over Instagram's new assertion that it may now receive payments from businesses to use your photos, user name and other data "in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."

Explore further: UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

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