Mike Isaac

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Instagram’s Updated User Agreement Goes Into Effect This Week

Instagram reminded users on Tuesday morning that it would roll back its user agreement to the previous version, with some minor changes, after a widespread user outrage last year erupted over a change in the service’s terms to suit future monetization of the product.

“Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010,” the new service agreement said.

The initial plan was to institute the new changes on Jan. 16. Instagram sent out an email to its user base on Tuesday morning, reminding users that this week would be the introduction of the new agreement, beginning on Jan. 19.

The changes, according to Instagram, are to help the company better share data with its new corporate overlord, Facebook, months after the company was acquired. Essentially, it means moving Instagram from being hosted on Amazon’s Web Services product, and onto Facebook’s in-house servers.

Also, Instagram claims, it’s going to better prevent the spam that’s so prevalent in many of the comments on the service.

The company provoked user ire back in mid-December when the company changed the language of its user agreement to potentially include advertising products that would incorporate users’ photos. Many interpreted the changes in language to mean that essentially any photos posted to the service could be co-opted by Instagram and its advertisers, and stuck inside of promos for different advertisers using the service.

Many freaked out, especially those in the artistic community, who upload their photographs and work to the photo-sharing service. A number of high-profile tech bloggers went so far as to delete their accounts entirely, claiming they didn’t want their lives to be monetized or “commoditized.”

“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,” the new update said.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work