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Instagram to start rolling out ads in the US

Instagram, the photo-sharing social website that just turned three, will start showing ads in its US users' feeds, less than a year after it had to backtrack on new advertising terms of service

“We have big ideas for the future, and part of making them happen is building Instagram into a sustainable business,” says Instagram as it announced it would start showing “an occasional ad” in its US users’ Instagram feeds. “Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow. We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.”

The San Francisco-based social sharing application adds that “any advertisements you see [will] feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands. After all, our team doesn’t just build Instagram, we use it each and every day. We want these ads to be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.”

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Users will be able to hide the ads they see and provide feedback “about what didn’t feel right,” it claims. “We’re relying on your input to help us continually improve the Instagram experience.”

The move comes less than a year after Instagram was forced to backtrack on new terms of service relating to the company’s advertising plans.

Instagram has also come under attack in recent weeks after photography organisations in the US and Europe united to campaign against the application’s terms of use, which, they argue, are too far reaching and unfair to users.

According to the American Society of Media Photographers’ executive director Eugene Mopsik, who leads the campaign against Instagram, these terms of use can lead to photographers’ rights to be infringed upon in an unprecedented way. “We are concerned that not only have Instagram’s Terms of Use gone beyond acceptable standards, but also that other social media providers may use these onerous terms as a template for their own agreements,” he says.