Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:05 PM ET
Instagram, faced with thousands of angry users upset by news that the popular app would let advertisers pick and choose among user-posted photos for ads, reversed course and said late Tuesday it won't allow that.
"One of the main reasons these documents don’t take effect immediately, but instead 30 days from now, is that we wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to raise any concerns. You’ve done that and are doing that, and that will help us provide the clarity you deserve," said Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder, in a blog post Tuesday.
"Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos. Nothing about this has changed."
Systrom also said that "the language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question."
Privacy advocates and users were interpreting the dense legalese of Instagram's proposed new policy as permission for Instagram to use all publicly shared images like its stockpile of stock photos, farming out your bathroom mirror self-portraits, or whatever, to advertisers willing to pay. (Pay Facebook via Instagram — not pay you and/or the photographer. Facebook recently bought Instagram.)
"Really, Instagram? Purchased for $1B in inflated FB stock and you're going to start selling members' pictures? Street Artists best leave now," read one tweet of warning, as #BoycottInstagram began trending on Twitter.
"I came late to Instagram, but I will leave early," noted another.
For what it's worth, Instagram wasn't claiming it owned your "Content" (with a capital "C"). It was just apparently going to sell it like it did. As the original new user agreement read:
As one Twitter user puts it, "I wish I had the strength to leave Instagram ... but I can't do it. No matter how badly it treats me."
Then again, at least some were seeing the bright side of staying: "I can understand why some people won't leave Instagram. Imagine the thrill of seeing your sandwich on somebody's billboard!"
This story was updated at 5:20 p.m. ET Tuesday.