Instagram is deleting some language in its new terms, but ads are still coming

Ads are a'coming

A contrite Instagram told its vocal followers that it failed to communicate changes to its terms of service properly and will do what it can to make things right Thursday.

"The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos," Co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post.

As a result of the outcry, which saw National Geographic suspend its posts to the site, Systrom announced that Instagram has decided to revert the advertising section in its new terms back to the original version that's been in place since the site first launched in October 2010.

That doesn't mean that ads won't show up on Instagram, however, just that the language that makes it sound like it and parent company Facebook can sell your photos was redacted.

Lesson learned?

The new terms as well as new privacy policy won't go into effect until Jan. 19, three days after the offending set of new policies were to go into place.

Systrom reiterated Instagram's commitment not to sell user photos, writing that the company doesn't have nor never had intention to do so.

"We don't own your photos - you do," he wrote.

An overarching policy change is also going into effect as a result of the backlash.

"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."

In other words, advertising is still coming to Instagram, but the plans will be more flushed out before reaching user eyes.

What's more, the site is also sticking with the part that said it doesn't have to identify advertisements as such.

While there's still time for changes to be made and clarification to be offered, Instagram isn't offering any assurances that users' photos, likenesses and other data won't show up alongside (or even as part of) advertisements.

So in essence, nothing significantly good for users has really changed. Instagram just wants you to know it's sorry for how it all went down.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.