That's exactly what Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom attempted to do in a blog post apology on Tuesday after dozens of tech sites began presenting other options to using the Instagarm app. Meanwhile many Instagram faithful immediately turned to Twitter and began urging users to delete their accounts.
A tsunami of angry Instagrammers took serious exception to the idea that starting on January 16, the photo-sharing app, now owned by Facebook, would give advertisers the right to use all new photos in advertisements for a fee that creators of the images would not take part in.
Which means your images could be sold without permission and you don't collect a dime.
“Since making these changes, we've heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean,” Systrom wrote in his apology.
The news travelled rapidly that Instagram was essentially asking users to sign away rights to all of their images posted through the app after Jan. 16, 2013. CNET helped spin the story into public outcry.
“Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without payment or notification,” Declan McCullagh wrote for CNET. “Its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the photo-sharing site.”
In his blog post, Systrom was deliberate in addressing three main sticking points causing plans of a mass-mutiny: ownership rights, advertising and privacy settings.
“It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. 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.” Systrom wrote.
It took less than 24 hours for Instagram to fold like a lawn chair and begin trying to cover over the grand buffoonery of releasing policy change documents that left way too much room for mass confusion. What in the world was Instagram thinking?
Systrom asked users to “Please stay tuned for updates coming soon.” — which is another way of admitting that there may be additional language lingering in their documents that could still leave many users with cause for concern.
I've been an avid Instagram user for well over a year now — while I'm a huge fan of the service I'm not sure why the company would mortally wound themselves with friendly fire just one week before the holiday season begins. Thanksgiving day brought a record 10 million photos that users posted onto Instagram.
Not everyone will emerge from this #Instagate fiasco quite the same, now that Facebook has helped kill the childlike wonder of so many Instagram faithful.
For those of you with an insta-exit plan in mind — you might want to keep those engines running while we all watch Kevin Systrom try to rewind all the way back to square one. Making every attempt to fix his mistakes at a rapid pace.
Who knows, you may not have to bail out on Instagram after all. That's what this whole aplology move is all about — right?