Dec 20th, 2012

Looks like everyone got what they wanted — Instagram has officially conceded defeat, reverting their new Terms of Service — that wasn’t going into effect until January 16th — back to their old one. The company said in a blog post today:

Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010. You can see the updated terms here.

Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.

You also had deep concerns about whether under our new terms, Instagram had any plans to sell your content. I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do.

The strangest part about the whole fiasco is that the old Terms of Service everybody wanted to go back to actually gave Instagram more leeway in what they were allowed to do with users’ photos in regard to advertisements. The now rejected Terms of Service was more restrictive, only allowing Instagram to sell ads with users’ photos “in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions.” This is similar to what we see today in Facebook’s sponsored posts. Nothing too wild or crazy there. In fact, where’s the backlash from Facebook users?

Meanwhile, their old — soon-to-be current — Terms of Service gives Instagram the right to place ads directly onto your ‘grams (something the rejected ToS everyone went ape sh*t over actually prevented). Ouch. Today’s announced, newly revised Terms of Service going into effect on January 19th, 2013 reads:

Some of the Service is supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions, and you hereby agree that Instagram may place such advertising and promotions on the Service or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content. The manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you.

See? The old one was bad, the new one — that’s now been rejected — was good. That’s not to say Instagram really will place a Valtrex logo on your bathroom selfies starting in January. The outcry from users would be even louder than what we saw on Tuesday. But starting January 19th, apparently they’ll have every right to. Looks like the users officially screwed the pooch on that one.

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