Instagram reverses course on ad-focused changes to terms of service agreement

"There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work," Systrom writes. "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."

Over the past week, Instagram users have taken to Twitter and Facebook to slam the changes to app's terms of service agreement. In particular, users feared their photos would be featured in ads without being compensated or notified about it first. 

The updates to the terms of services agreement released Monday said Instagram would let businesses or other entities use its users' "username, likeness, photos" and other information about their activity on the photo-sharing app in promotions or sponsored content — and users would not be compensated if their photos were used.

After the backlash over the changes, Systrom apologized for the confusion in a blog post earlier this week and explained that the company intends to test out different advertising methods on the service as a way make money.

But in his latest post, Systrom said the company would take time to complete its advertising plans first and then explain them to users.

"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," Systrom writes.

He also reiterated that Instragram does not plan to sell its users' photos.

"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," he said.

Privacy groups had said the changes could violate a privacy agreement Facebook settled with the Federal Trade Commission and planned to raise their concerns to regulators. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, also said he planned to keep an eye on the matter.

The changes to Instagram's privacy policy and terms of service agreement were supposed to go into effect on Jan. 16, but will now be implemented on Jan. 19.

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