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Instagram says it now has right to sell users' photos

Instagram has amended its terms of use to give it the right to sell users' photos to advertisers without notification.

The photo-sharing app has recently had its privacy policy updated by owner Facebook, which claims that users have until 16 January to delete their accounts and opt out.

The new policy means that Instagram can license all photos to companies or any other organisation, including for advertising purposes, essentially making it the world's largest stock photo agency. For example, a hotel could pay Facebook to use photos taken at its resorts for its brochures and its website, without paying or even notifying the Instagram user who took the photo.

"We may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data with organisations that help us provide the service to you... (and) third-party advertising partners," said a notice on the Instagram site.

The move has been widely condemned by users, with one New York photographer calling it "Instagram's suicide note".

"Good bye #instagram. Your new terms of service are totally stupid and nonsense. Good luck playing with the big boys," tweeted one user.

The announcement is the latest development to be implemented by Facebook after it acquired the popular app for $715 million (£441 million) in September. Since then, the company has announced data-sharing between Facebook and Instagram in a multitude of amendments to its privacy policy.

Relations with social media giant Twitter have also soured, after Instagram recently disabled its Twitter card support – meaning Instagram photos no longer displayed correctly on the site.