Instagram Reverts To Original Ad Terms After Outcry, Says It Needs To Figure Out Ad Program First

Following the controversy over recently-unveiled changes to its terms of service, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom just announced via blog post that the advertising-related section of the TOS has reverted to “the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010.”

The Facebook-owned photo service had already hinted that this was coming, with Systrom saying that the team was listening to user concerns and that there would be changes to the TOS to make it clear that “it is not our intention to sell your photos.”

That doesn’t mean Instagram won’t ever make ever make advertising-related changes to its TOS. Instead, Systrom says that the company needs to figure out the details of its advertising program first:

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 also apologizes outright, though to he attributes the outcry to bad communication on the company’s part, rather than any real malicious intent. (In fact, TechCrunch’s Drew Olanoff and Josh Constine discussed the communication issue yesterday.) Here’s the apology:

In the days since [the updated terms unveiled], it became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities – to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right.

The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.

You can check out the updated terms of service here.

For more on this issue, read Josh’s piece on the lessons learned from Instagram’s ad policy fiasco.