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Instagram responds to user concerns, adjusts new Terms of Service to allay fears

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
December 18, 2012
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Were you among the many put off or freaked out by Instagram's changes to its Terms of Service announced yesterday? You're not alone, as many informed the Facebook photo sharing platform that they weren't pleased by the new language -- they mistook it as a means for their photos to be monetized in unscrupulous ways. Good news is, Instagram heard these complaints and has responded, explaining the changes and pledging to nix parts that caused unnecessary confusion.

In a blog post today, co-founder Kevin Systrom made clear that the ToS tweaks were meant to inform Instagrammers that the company wants "to experiment with innovative advertising." What kind of advertising? Say a company wants more folks following its Instagram account. According to Systrom, the changes allow Instagram to see which of the people you follow also follow that business and can use that information to better promote said company.

Basically, the changes were made so Instagram can find ways to increase ad revenue without spoiling the UX with banner ads, but the service still retains the rights to use your information in ads -- and yes, even users under 18 are included. Additionally, Systrom made clear that users own their content and Instagram will not be selling user photos to advertisers. And, he has pledged that updated language to that effect is in the works. Still uneasy about using Instagram for your filtered photography needs? Head on over to the source for the full explanation straight from Systrom himself.

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