- (PHOTO) Facebook: Instagram Boycott Fan Page
Instagram users began threatening to close their accounts Tuesday over a controversial new policy being implemented by the photo sharing website that ultimately gives the company ownership of its users' images.
As of January 16, 2013, Instagram users will risk having their information shared with social networking site Facebook, which bought the company for an estimated $1 billion in April. The company can also sell its users' images to advertisers without notification.
Despite the company, which boasts more than 100 million users, insisting that users will still be able to use the app as per normal, a growing number of critics, including celebrities like actress Kate Walsh, have vowed to stop using it altogether.
"No more Instagram," Walsh tweeted Dec. 18.
"Soo whose all deleting their instagram accounts before jan 16??!!..." reality star Audrina Patridge tweeted.
While there are still some users who do not understand the backlash being aimed at Instagram, one legal expert explained why critics are so irate.
"It's asking people to agree to unspecified future commercial use of their photos," Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation told CNET.com. "That makes it challenging for someone to give informed consent to that deal."
One Twitter user appeared to be unfazed by the policy changes and tweeted a more light-hearted response to the news.
"People are going to delete their Instagram because they think they're attractive enough to have their pictures sold? Lol ok," Walid tweeted.
Instagram competitor EyeEm.com immediately took advantage of the controversy by assuring its users that they would not be subject to the same controversial policy changes as Instagram users.
"Your photos belong to you. That promise is and always will be at the core of EyeEm," the company wrote in a Facebook post.