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December 26, 2012

Amid Backlash Instagram Backs off of Terms of Use Change

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

As one of the most popular photo sharing services in the world, Instagram’s run of uninterrupted success had to come to an end eventually. The company had faced little backlash from users the way several of the other big social marketing websites had received in the past, but it appears the company might have gotten a little overconfident.

The backlash began when Instagram made some changes to its terms of use policy. It appeared that the company wanted to take the photos users had posted, and sell them to advertisers. Not surprisingly, this did not sit well with Instagram users and Instagram has subsequently announced it has stepped back from those proposed changes.

It appears that either the actual backlash from users was much smaller than what was stated by some outlets, or the company made the move quick enough that they didn’t cause themselves too much damage. Whichever the reason, Instagram says that they haven’t lost many losers, despite some early threats of mass departures. Instagram, which is owned by social networking giant Facebook was apparently visibly shaken by the amount of negative comments after the reported terms of use changes.,

Instagram posted a blog entry at the end of last week, announcing that the company had decided against going forward with the changes. "It became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities - to communicate our intentions clearly," Kevin Systrom, Instagram's co-founder wrote. "I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right." he continued.

Systrom did make it clear that the company has not given up on integration with various advertisers. Systrom said that the company would look at how they could implement the integration and that when they were ready to try again; the company would make a more concerted effort to explain what was happening and what it meant to its users.

Edited by Carlos Olivera
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