Users react to Instagram changes

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 18 December 2012

instagramimage

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service now owned by Facebook, is the target of a storm of outrage, much of it on social media, after changes in its user agreement give it broader rights to use its members' photos in advertisements. In a blog post that offered few details, Instagram said the changes will help its service "function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups." Facebook Inc. also recently updated its privacy policy to allow for more integration with Instgram. "This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used," the blog post said, adding that the updates also "help protect you, and prevent spam and abuse as we grow." But the biggest change riling users and privacy advocates is Instagram's new assertion that it may now receive payments from businesses to use your photos, user name and other data "in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you." Instagram's short blog post on Monday made no mention of advertisements or other commercial activities, though it offered links to the new privacy policy and terms of service. Those documents spell out what the service could do, but say little about actual plans. Facebook, which bought Instagram in September for $740 million, already uses your photo and other information about you to show advertisements to your friends. Say you've "liked" Samsung Mobile. Facebook might then show your friends ads for Samsung and include the fact that you "like" the company's page. Your profile photo and name would appear with what Facebook calls "sponsored stories." The new policy, which takes effect January 16, suggests that Facebook wants to integrate Instagram into its ad-serving system.

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