Opaque Instagram ad policy change riles users

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service that Facebook bought this year, is the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after a change in its user agreement hinted that it might use shared photos in ads.

It's not clear that anything substantive has changed in Instagram's new terms of service, which were posted Monday and go into effect Jan. 16. As is the case before, the service reserves the right to use shared photos in any matter it likes, though the photographers keep "ownership" of the photos.

"If I take a picture of my family, I think I own that picture, and what Instagram is saying that by using their app they own your picture, and they can do what they want to with it," says James Battle, a lawyer in Horry County.

The updated terms of service say users agree that their photos could be used "in connection with paid or sponsored content." The current terms say the service can place ads "on, about or in conjunction with your Content."

And those terms make Instagram users worried about the future of their pictures.

"I'll definitely think twice before I post anything," said Instagram user Cassandra Aiken.

Instagram did come out with a statement later Tuesday evening saying, "To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

Here is a link to Instagram's updated legal terms.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)