Many concerns were raised that users' photos would be sold without "payment or notification" after the changes were announced on the Instagram blog on December 18 (Australia).
Instagram stated that this meant spam could be dealt with more effectively, better features could be built and system problems would be addressed more quickly by "understanding" how Instagram is used.
"It's asking people to agree to unspecified future commercial use of their photos," said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation via CNET.
"That makes it challenging for someone to give informed consent to that deal."
The new changes are set to come into effect on January 16, with people taking to the Instagram Facebook page to raise their concerns and many stating that they would delete or already had deleted their accounts as a result of the policy.
The blog post noted that they'd heard "loud and clear" that users are "confused" by what the changes mean, addressing the specific concerns they heard which include advertising on Instagram, ownership rights and privacy settings.
They posted that their intention in updating terms was to communicate that they'd like to experiment with innovative advertising.
"Instead 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," co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom posted.
"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."
Posted by April Revake.