Tag: instagram

Instagram grows its user base

Leica cameraPhoto-based social notworking site Instagram’s user base rose to more than 600 million.

The Facebook owned company said that its new features had helped it gain popularity and it had added 100 million users since June, when it last announced its 500 million user milestone.

Writing in the company bog,  the company said that products like Instagram Stories, its picture and video slideshow feature, identical to the signature function of rival Snap Snapchat had done rather well.

Instagram in September updated its safety tools by allowing users to control the comments posted on their pictures and videos to combat increasing cases of online trolling.

The company, which is expected to add to Facebook’s revenue, is on track to generate $1.5 billion in advertising revenue this year, according to research firm eMarketer.

We have reached peak Facebook

FacebookSocial notworking sites have reached their peak and might start to fade from view from now on, according to the latest figures.

London-based data collection company SimilarWeb studied the habits of Android users across the world, to monitor the changing popularity of social media apps and discovered that the social media frenzy is dying down and people are starting to spend less time on social media apps.

In almost all countries, time spent on the four leading social media apps, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter had fallen.

In some cases, the drop in usage was minimal, with Snapchat usage in Brazil dropping from 11.23 minutes to 11.10 minutes.

Other cases saw a more substantial drop, like time spent on Twitter in France. Over Q1 2015, the average in France was 19.80 minutes and in Q1 2016, that number dropped to 13.12, a drop of 34 per cent.

In a few cases, such as Facebook’s usage in Spain, time spent within an app did rise but that was bucking the trend.

SimilarWeb marketing analyst Pavel Tuchinsky said that across the board, people are spending less time on their Social Media apps.

Most countries spent less time on Facebook compared to last year, with the exception of Germany where the time was roughly the same last year compared to this.

Instagram also saw a rise in installs in several countries including France, Germany, and the US. Instagram’s biggest loss, however, came in India where the app dropped from being installed on 32 per cent  of Android devices to 19 per cent.

Steak, mac & cheese dinner pic nabs Instagram fraudster

The US‘ Internal Revenue Service claims to have caught a pair of serial ID fraudsters by using some simple detective work on an Instagram picture of a steak and cheese dinner.

The IRS was on the hunt for an elusive man who was said to hold thousands of stolen identities, all up for sale. Eventually named as Nathaniel Troy Maye, his downfall was snapping a steak, macaroni and cheese dinner and uploading the photo of the meal to Instagram.

The Sun Sentinal reported that an undercover agent informed the IRS the man only identified himself as Troy. He also knew the man came from Harlem. Meeting again, the undercover tax spook grabbed a flash drive from the couple that held 50,000 identities thought to be used for filing fradulent income tax returns. Looking at the drive, the IRS turned up hidden data linked it to a Troy Maye.

The next break came from discovering a user – cleverly disguised himself with capital letters – called TROYMAYE on Instagram.Taking a look at the photo of the steak, macaroni and cheese meal, it had the caption “Morton’s” and coincided with the January restaurant meeting between the undercover witness and the couple.

Maye also used his own photo on InstaGram, where he was quickly identiffied as the suspect – leading to the arrest of him and his girlfriend, the latter now out on bail. Maye’s profile is set to private, but on it, he says: “Good things will come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle!” 

Instagram distances itself from snap-happy Twitterati

When Facebook handed Instagram an enormous cheque most people were surprised, but it sort of made sense. Aside from data mining, people use Facebook to share photos, and Instagram was on the up and up thanks to its automatic shot filtering that made a simple iPhone snap look a little more  Lomo. Its popularity soared on Twitter, too, but the company has just put a stop to that with little explanation why.

Twitter users will no longer be able to properly display photographs though its website or apps. Instead, users are now redirected from tweets through to Instagram’s own website, cutting out the quick view option many subscribers have enjoyed from its inception. A picture seems worth more than 140 characters, from Instagram’s perspective, although the only details it gave were that disabling Twitter integration “made sense” “right now”.

There is no indication whether the benevolent Zucktatorship gave the orders, but the move does seem a little out of the blue.

Speaking at LeWeb, the Wall Street Journal reports Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom as saying things “change as a company evolves”. Whether that evolution is intrinsically linked to the whim of Facebook is up for debate.

As the WSJ notes, tensions began to build when Instagram was bought by Facebook. Cutting the most important ties appears to be a result of those tensions, but there are no specifics in the wild just yet.

Facebook’s primary way of monetising is data mining, and all three social media players are struggling to figure out the best way to make money out of amateur photography. Facebook gave automatic photo tagging a go, but that got a thumbs down from people who valued their privacy – not enough to permanently delete their account, but enough to get creeped out by Facebook recognising them.

This feud seems to be specifically between Instagram and Twitter. Other services, such as Tumblr, Foursquare, and, well, Facebook, will remain unaffected. For its part, Twitter is expected to introduce its own photo filters, like those on offer from Instagram, so those frozen out by the latter’s move can continue to enjoy intentionally blurry photos of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with full integration.

Google buys up Instagram rival, Snapseed

Google has snapped up German firm Nik Software, doing so getting its hands on Instagram rival Snapseed.

Senior Vice President,Engineering for Google Vic Gundotra announced on Google+ that the firm had made the acquisition, though no further financial details were disclosed.

“Today I’m excited to welcome +Nik Software to the Google family!” Gundotra said. “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone.” 

In a statement on its website, Nik Software also announced the deal which will give Google access to photo editing tools.

“We are pleased to announce that Google has acquired Nik Software,” the statement read, adding that the firm has spent 17 years building  “world class digital image editing tools”. 

“We’ve always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone, and with Google’s support we hope to be able to help many millions more people create awesome pictures.”

Nik Software’s Snapseed software is regarded as a competitor to the immensely popular photo editing tool Instagram, purchased by Facebook in a billion dollar deal. 

With Google announcing the deal through its Google+ site it appears likely that the photo editing software will be used in conjunction with its own social network offering, one of Facebook’s rivals.

Instagram turned over to enormous data mining operation

Facebook’s purchase of Instagram could have a huge impact on the photo sharing app and users “should be worried”, according to one analyst.

Mark Zuckerberg decided to get his hands on Instagram, which allows users to apply filters to pictures and post them for their followers to see. There is also the option to post these pictures onto Facebook and Twitter although this currently isn’t mandatory.

Zuckerberg offered up a cool $1 billion  – the largest ever acquisition for Facebook – for Instagram, which currently doesn’t make a profit.

Following the announcement, Instagram fans began to panic that their data and posts would no longer be private, with many looking at other free apps, including Streamzoo, to migrate to.

According to industry experts they may be justified in doing so.

Clive Longbottom, Quocirca analyst, told TechEye: “With Facebook’s track record on saying one thing around security and then either doing a different thing or changing its mind on a regular basis, I think that Instagram users should be worried.  

“It is very likely that Facebook will fully embrace Instagram, using any information it can gain from the system to further build on its own extensive intelligence on people’s likes, dislikes and habits,” he said. 

Longbottom warned that there is a reason Facebook operates on a free model, and it is no secret that the company harvests data. “If you want your adverts highly targeted, then so be it,” he said. “If you’d rather not open everything up for inspection, then you need to be careful in what systems you use and what information you make public.”

Although free services are alluring for users, they have to remember that they need business models behind them. “Facebook’s is in mining information that users put on its system and making this available to those who pay,” Longbottom said. “The advertisers and businesses looking for greater insights into user behaviour.”

Facebook snaps up Instagram

Mark “La Honda” Zuckerberg said on his Defacebook page that Facebook has paid $1 billion in greenbacks for Instagram.

Instagram is a photo sharing web outfit that lets you share your snaps with Twitter and Tumblr, and you can get it on the Apple app store and for Android phones as well. It’s free.

The founders include CEO Kevin Systrom – who worked for two years at Google.

Zuckerberg said in his blog, sorry on his Defacebook Timeline, that it will try and keep Instagram as a separate brand, although he said Facebook wants to build similar features too.

Zuckerberg also said Facebook would buy other companies – but not “many more of these, if any at all”.   

So some, then…