Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has retreated from some of the controversial changes in its terms of service that prompted a fierce backlash from users earlier this week.
In a blog post, Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom apologized for a failure to “communicate our intentions clearly”. The terms of service changes pertaining to advertising have been reversed, Systrom said, and restored to what they had been before the changes announced on Monday.
“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 said.
Instagram, which allows people to add filters and effects to photos and share them easily on the Internet, was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for $715 million.
Some top users of Instagram, including National Geographic magazine, said they would stop using the service after the new rules were announced on Monday.
Internet experts said Instagram had been very aggressive in asserting its rights to user information and inviting anyone who did not agree to delete their accounts within a few weeks.
Systrom also stressed in the blog post that the company had no intention of selling the photos that users post on the service. Many users had read the new terms of service as an indication that the company was reserving the right to do that.
Still, the updated terms, which go into effect on 19 January, appear to retain some of the controversial provisions, including the requirement that any disputes be subject to arbitration.