Instagram backs down over sale of pictures

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INSTAGRAM has bowed to pressure from its users and promised to draw up new rules that make it clear it has no plans to sell their pictures to advertisers.

The photo-sharing service, which is owned by social network Facebook, was due to introduce new terms of service on 16 January that gave it the right to use people’s names and pictures “in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you”. Those who did not agree with the changes were told they would have to delete their accounts.

The move sparked an immediate backlash, with some describing the decision as “Instagram’s suicide note”, but co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom has now pledged to re-write the terms of service.

He said: “Legal documents are easy to misinterpret. So I’d like to address specific concerns we’ve heard from everyone.

“To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.”

Instagram launched in 2010 and was bought for about $715 million (£439m) by Facebook in October. The site never claimed ownership of the pictures, but the suggestion that it might have been seeking to sell them without consent led to accusations that it was taking too many rights away from users.