Instagram, the popular photo-sharing network, is the target of public outrage via social media after the company, which was acquired by Facebook earlier this year, made a slight revision to their user agreement.
Hinting at the fact that it may use publicly uploaded images in ads, Instagram says that some parts of its service might be supported by advertisers, with sponsored content potentially featuring users' shared photos.
"To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you," reads an excerpt of updated Terms.
Effective Jan. 16, the stipulation, which was first spotted by the New York Times, even applies to users under 18.
This means that any Instagram users who upload public photos, agree that their photos could be used "in connection with paid or sponsored content," While the current terms say the service can place ads "on, about or in conjunction with your Content."
According to a report by the Associated Press, the updated terms are Facebook’s way of integrating Instagram into its ad-serving system, which can, for instance, promote an item by telling users that their friends "Like" it. Essentially, the new terms mean that Instagram could use your photos to market a product to your friends.
Users took to Twitter in an effort to voice their outrage over the updated Instagram terms.
"I won't use it," wrote @tonyajpowers via Twitter. "Facebook has ruined Instagram. There are other cool filter apps that I can use on my pics."
"Instagram's new policy is an egregious use of its customers information," adds Twitter follower @Craig_cgc. "I'll be gone."
While AP’s suggestion as to the motive behind the updated terms is just speculation, Instagram has yet to comment on its intentions.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.