Danielle Nicolet (@DaniNicolet) December 18, 2012
“Legal documents are easy to misinterpret,” reads a statement rushed out by popular photo-sharing service Instagram this afternoon in an attempt to stem what looks like a huge exodus of users. An update to its terms of service led many to believe that Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook earlier this year, was planning to sell users’ photos to advertisers without their consent, prompting many, including celebrities and media personalities, to threaten to delete their accounts.
Sorry everyone but my Instagram is now on private until I can delete. I will also delete Facebook.—
virginia madsen (@madlyv) December 18, 2012
it takes a long time to delete 300 photos from one's instagram feed…—
Mark Hoppus (@markhoppus) December 18, 2012
Wow…I just read over Instagram’s new policy…so sad, looks like I might be deleting my instagram after Jan 16. I hope something changes—
KhloéKardashianOdom (@KhloeKardashian) December 18, 2012
Sorry I gotta delete you, Instagram. I liked your filters.
"Instagram Says It Now Has the Right to Sell Your Photos"
Anyone else hear that massive "whoomp" of displaced air as millions of Instagram users delete their accounts?—
Chris Angel (@TheChrisAngel) December 18, 2012
Jaimie Alexander (@JaimieAlexander) December 18, 2012
Instagram, you were my favorite app and you stabbed me in the back. I feel like I married you and you just slept with my best friend.—
Jonah Hill (@JonahHill) December 18, 2012
I deleted my Instagram account.—
Cliff Cheney (@cliffcheney) December 18, 2012
@twitter Instagram's New TOS Bends Users Over, Rams Sepia-Saturated Fist Up Their Hashtags
Here’s the language that had everyone upset:
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.
That was the word yesterday, anyway. Instagram insists in its statement today that it has no intention of selling anyone’s photos, and content uploaded by users remains their property. In the meantime, as Instagram revises its terms of service, it has offered the following scenario to calm users.
Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.
Will that be enough to draw users back? A campaign to #BoycottInstagram was already in full swing earlier in the day, and many had already deleted their photos, following instructions posted by tech blogs and other media outlets. Just because people post photos of every cup of cappuccino they drink doesn’t mean they don’t take their privacy very seriously.
With an apology extended and the picture a little clearer, will users be lured back? Twitchy will monitor the situation to see what develops.