Complaints flooded in from celebs, bloggers, and the every day user.
(CNN) — Faced with a loud and angry backlash from some of its most active users, photo-sharing app Instagram backtracked Tuesday on new language that appeared to give the company ownership of their images.
“The language we proposed … raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post. “We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.”
An update Monday to Instagram’s terms of service had stated that data collected through the app can be shared with Facebook. That’s not a surprising move, considering Facebook paid an estimated $1 billion for the photo-sharing service earlier this year.
But the language that upset some of the app’s more than 100 million users said that “a business or other entity may pay” Instagram for the use of user images and may do so “without any compensation to you.”
Even CNN’s own Anderson Cooper was expressing some concern on the site.
“#Instagram will now be able to use anyone’s photos in ads? Without consent?” he wrote on Twitter. “Come on! Is there another photo app people recommend?”
Cooper wasn’t the only one considering his options.
Bloggers also were spotlighting tools like Hipstamatic and Camera Awesome, as well as Twitter’s own new photo service that includes Instagram-like filters.
A year-and-a-half-old blog post from photo-sharing site Flickr was also making the rounds. In it, Yahoo, which owns Flickr, uses language, perhaps aimed at Facebook, that says “(w)e feel very strongly that sharing online shouldn’t mean giving up rights to your photos.”
Systrom said Instagram agrees.
“Instagram users own their content and Instagram does not claim any ownership rights over your photos,” he wrote. “Nothing about this has changed. We respect that there are creative artists and hobbyists alike that pour their heart into creating beautiful photos, and we respect that your photos are your photos. Period.”
It is, of course, too early to know how many people were fleeing Instagram on Tuesday. But anecdotal evidence suggested a movement was afoot.
Instaport, a tool that lets users export and and download their Instagram images, was reporting overtaxed servers Tuesday morning.
“Our servers are very busy right now, so it may show you some errors,” the company wrote to a user on its Twitter feed. “Please try again later or tomorrow.”
So basically, they’ll still use your info and photos to target ads specifically towards you and your followers…and for now, they’re not going to sell your images to anyone, for free.
Question is, do you care?
Images via Instagram
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