Instagram Speaks Out On Users’ Concerns About TOS Changes, Will There Be A Beacon-Like Apology?

As you might have been following this week, Instagram and Facebook made changes to its terms of service and privacy policy that allows Facebook to sell access to user’s photos for advertising purposes.

This is much like the backlash that happened with Beacon, in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an apology from the company in 2007. Today, Instagram has responded in a tweet, suggesting that it would be sharing more soon, based on its user’s concerns.

The company also posted on Facebook.

What will come of this, we’re not sure of yet. But the fact of the matter is that as more people learn about what the terms of service changes mean, the more uncomfortable they are with sharing photos on the service.

People from prominent Twitter users to Mark Zuckerberg’s own sister, have shared their concern about the changes. Here’s what Zuckerberg said in his Beacon apology in 2007:

But we missed the right balance. At first we tried to make it very lightweight so people wouldn’t have to touch it for it to work. The problem with our initial approach of making it an opt-out system instead of opt-in was that if someone forgot to decline to share something, Beacon still went ahead and shared it with their friends. It took us too long after people started contacting us to change the product so that users had to explicitly approve what they wanted to share. Instead of acting quickly, we took too long to decide on the right solution. I’m not proud of the way we’ve handled this situation and I know we can do better.

Many today are wondering what that “we can do better” means now, especially since the company is a publicly traded one with new responsibilities to the public, and its over 1 billion users. Is this type of content usage fair for ads, just because people “agree” to a terms of service, that admittedly most don’t read? That’s the question being asked today, not whether its filters are better than any other apps.

Users were not able to opt-in or out to these new changes, as the voting requirements that Facebook presented were not met by its users. Basically, we saw this coming. Instagram and Facebook might not apologize, but they could at least shed some more light on the changes to educate its users.

Some people are already trying to export all of their Instagram photos, causing its suggested export service to have difficulties today. In addition, we have spoken with Yahoo! and it had this to say about renewed interest in Flickr, but it would be nice to hear about some numbers:

We see strong interest in our recently enhanced Flickr for iPhone app and hope our users to continue to enjoy sharing photos with family, friends and the world.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for further comment, and will let you know if we hear something.

[Photo credit: Flickr]