Instagram BOWS to pressure, revises T&Cs – a little

Burning question: Will move satisfy über-Instagrammer Kim Kardashian?


It looks like Kim Kardashian might not have to dump her Instagram account after all, now that the social photo-sharing firm has revised the updated terms and conditions of service that caused so much uproar among users earlier this week.

On Monday, Instagram announced new T&Cs, effective January 16, that seemingly granted it the right to license users' photographs for its own profit, and even to sell them to advertisers.

The move triggered outrage among many users, not least of whom Kardashian, who runs Instagram's most-followed feed. The reality TV star and "socialite" reportedly told friends that she was considering quitting the service unless it stuck to its original terms of use.

It's still not doing that. But in a blog post on Thursday, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said that it had become clear that hid company's users hadn't understood its intentions, and that as a result, it had decided to modify some of the language in its new terms:

The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.

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.

Systrom also said Instagram had made "a small change" to its terms to clarify how widely the service would distribute users' photos.

Other than these two tweaks, however, the rest of the updated terms of use will apparently stand – including their lengthy new disclaimer of warranty, limitation of liability, indemnification, and arbitration clauses.

"I'm proud that Instagram has a community that feels so strongly about a product we all love," Systrom wrote. "I'm even more proud that you feel empowered to be vocal and approach us with constructive feedback to help us build a better product."

As for the idea that Instagram had planned to hawk users' photos to third parties, Systrom said it was all a misunderstanding. "I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did," he wrote. "We don't own your photos – you do."

Whether Systrom's assurances will be sufficient to appease Kardashian is not yet clear. 

Instagram has made both its original and new T&Cs available for Kardashian and others to review, and it has even given them a little extra time to do so. According to Systrom's blog post, the revised terms will now take effect on January 19, three days later than what was originally announced. ®


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