Instagram says users' photos won't appear in ads



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Posted on December 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 11:45 PM

DALLAS — Instagram might be facing its first test, and its 100 million users have apparently won.

The mobile phone app is all about sharing photos of food, kids, places and pets.

For Grand Prairie resident Collin Harvey, social media is about sharing good times.

"When we have time to cook, I like to post pictures of what we make. We're the typical Instagrammers, really," he said laughing.

He also has lots of shots of his 18-month-old daughter, Alli, on his account. But Harvey is considering deleting his account now after Instagram changed its Terms of Service, to which users must agree before posting pictures.

"It's kind of shady. I'm not really comfortable with it. Neither one of us are," he added standing next to his wife.

But Instagram pointed out that it's also a business, recently purchased by Facebook, and is currently trying to find ways to make money.

Instagram's fine print quadrupled from three pages and 1,100 words to a dozen pages and 6,200 words of confusing legalese.

Many interpreted the new terms to mean that Instagram could sell users' photos to business, photos that could possibly appear in advertisements.

Within hours, users revolted, taking to Twitter and Facebook to protest.

Instagram was forced to apologize Tuesday afternoon and declared it will not sell pictures. It also removed language suggesting businesses could turn photos into ads.

Still, Tuesday evening, National Geographic, which uses the handle @NatGeo, suspended its popular feed with more than 641,000 followers. NatGeo said it might even delete its account.

"We are very concerned with the direction of the proposed new terms of service and if they remain as presented we may close our account," a posting on NatGeo's feed said.

Collin Harvey is considering hitting the delete button, too. Instagram's new terms take effect in mid-January.