An update Monday to Instagram's terms of service said "a business or other entity may pay" Instagram for the use of user images and may do so "without any compensation to you."
The wording set off a storm on the Internet from angry users, causing Instagram to backtrack Tuesday and attempt an explanation on its corporate blog, CNN reported.
"The language we proposed ... raised questions about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post. "We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we're going to remove the language that raised the question."
The intent of the new terms of service was "to communicate that we'd like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram," he wrote.
Many Instagram users were apparently not satisfied with the explanations and were abandoning the service, which is owned by Facebook.
Instaport, which offers a tool that lets users export, download and reclaim their Instagram images, was reporting high loads on its servers Tuesday.
"Our servers are very busy right now, so it may show you some errors," the company tweeted users. "Please try again later or tomorrow."