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Instagram sends reminder to users about policy changes

The photo-sharing site, owned by Facebook, sends an e-mail to users to remind them the new terms of service and privacy policy go into effect Saturday.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

Instagram has sent a helpful e-mail to users, reminding them that its new policies go into effect this week.

The reminder, which didn't contain any new information but was likely meant to calm users, comes only a few hours before parent company Facebook kicks off a mysterious press event at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

It's unclear what Facebook will unveil, but speculation has included a phone, a search engine, or a new version of the mobile News feed, among other possibilities. Timing of the Instagram e-mail is curious, but it doesn't necessarily mean the two are related.

The photo-sharing app owned by Facebook has faced a lot of backlash over its updated terms of service and privacy policy, with many users, influential celebrities included, saying they'd delete the accounts. The revision originally claimed perpetual rights to sell users' photographs without notifying or compensating the photographer. Under that new policy, Facebook claimed the right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, effectively transforming the Web site into the world's largest stock photo agency.

However, Instagram backtracked in late December, with founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announcing that the terms would revert to the version in place since the service launched in 2010.

The company today said it wanted to remind users about the policy changes that take into account the feedback Instagram received.

Here's the full message:


Our community has grown by many millions of people since we wrote our original Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. As we announced in December, we have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. These policies also now take into account the feedback we received from the Instagram Community. We're emailing you to remind you that, as we announced last month, these updated policies will be in effect as of January 19th, 2013.

You can read our blog post that highlights some of the key updates. And remember, these updates don't change the fact that you own your photos that you post on Instagram, and our privacy controls work just as they did before.

Thank you,

The Instagram Team