Category Archives: InstaNews

Instagram Purchase Update

Check out the latest update on Facebook’s purchase of Instagram…The once $1 Billion deal is no longer valued the same since FB stock hasn’t been doing so hot, but $750 million bucks is still a nice chunk of change.

LA Times Article


Instagram Down = Misery

Did anybody else feel an empty hole in their stomach yesterday afternoon/evening when their Instagram feed couldn’t refresh? I couldn’t post any photos of my puggle or what I ate for dinner. I was devestated.

This was caused by a massive power outage in North Virginia, where Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute is located. These server outages caused Instagram, Pinterest, and Netflix to be down and it certainly upset users.   Good thing Facebook and Twitter were still up and running, or else users would have no place to go to vent their angry sentiments. Check out some of them here:

RIP PicPlz

As the photo sharing war continues to rage, some are lost to the battle. Instagram competitor PicPlz will shut down operations July 3rd.  The application will not only shut down, but also delete all images. Developer of PicPlz, Mixed Media Labs is explaining the close with this message:

“On July 3, 2012, picplz will shut down permanently and all photos and data will be deleted.
Until then, you can log in and download your photos by clicking on the download link next to each photo in your photo feed.
Thank you for your support of picplz and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.”

Despite the seemingly never ending user base for photo sharing, some apps are failing. PicPlz was a viable competitor at first, particularly because the app was available to both Android and iPhone users before Instagram was.

However, it seems that since Instagram blew up, gained popularity, and released the API, PicPlz could not compete.

To be honest, it was my least favorite of the photo sharing apps. Nonetheless, RIP PicPlz, I’m sure some users will miss you :/

Casetagram: Adding “tagram” to Everything and Making $$$











Just found another new business opportunity that has been fulfilled! Actually learned about this through one of my Instagrammers who posted a picture about the new site Casetagram. Decided to check it out and I cannot wait to get my order in! Basically what Casetagram does it allow you to customize an iPhone (sorry Androiders) case made entirely from your Instagram photos! Looking at the gallery of designed cases, they look amazing – who wouldn’t want an iPhone case that shows all the beautiful Instagram photos you have taken? You guys can be sure that mine will be filled with Puggle photos!

International Instagram: Asia Updates

Not only is instagram widely gaining popularity in the US. It has also taken off around the world. Specifically, some recent moves that instagram has made have caught the attention of many. Instagrams new version 2.2, which boosts a higher speed camera, also has instagrated(get it?) with two of Asia’s social websites. Now when photos are uploaded, it can easily be sent to Japan’s Mixi and China’s Sina Weibo. For more information on this integration check out this article form The Next Web here. As you can see from this photo:

This is just as seamless as the Twitter and Facebook integration. With these changes and additions in the Asian market it seems that we may see an Instagram office based out of Asia sooner rather than later. Although at this time a user would only see and be able to fully integrate with these other sites if their languages and region are correctly formatted. So if a user was to attempt to upload in the US they most likely would not be successful with the upload to the other social sites.

In addition to these integrations with the social web sites there are additional explorations of instagram coming out of Asia. Upon some searching of the web we were able to locate a website devoted entirely to asian photos. They have searched the instagram database to provide all photos hashtagged with #asian. Check it out here. This website label is shown below.

Statigram allows for many different categories to be viewed, but this category really allows for all asian cultural items to be displayed. One can view pictures of asian cuisine, asian vehicles, asian artists, teens, adults, children and buildings that are all related to Asia and its culture/people. It is wonderful to see the popularity and excitement around sites like this that give a global presence to Instagram and help to categorize all of the amazing photos.

Even companies are using Instagram to market to their Asia customers. One example of this is the Billabong Asia promotions. Billabong is a boardshort apparel leader and is wanting to get more international recognition. They have a promotion on Facebook that will give a winner a new wardrobe worth $2000 once they reach 200,000 fans on Facebook’s Billabong Asia. A photo is below that is taken and promoted through instagram for the contest, thus successfully integrating the expansion movement through both facebook and instagram.

What will be the next innovative idea to further Instagram’s international growth and popularity, especially in Asia?

Socialmatic – InstaCamera

Instagram Socialmatic Camera

As the Instagram hype continues, businesses looking to cash out on the phenomenon proliferate. A new player has come up with a very different type of Instagram concept – the Socialmatic camera.
This camera is purely conceptual at this point, but the creator, ADR Studios, is working to gain support. De Rosa, ADR Studio’s Italian Designer company, is currently requesting contributions toward the creation of the camera. Though I am not sure how many people have made contributions, according to the website, the average contribution is an impressive $70. It is possible we could see this camera on the market in the near future.

The camera will look like the Instagram logo, and feature a large flat screen for ease of use. The Socialmatic would have two lenses, one for taking pictures, and the other for scanning the QR Codes that are included on each individual photograph. The camera would offer 16GB of internal storage, allowing users to store the photos directly on the device. In addition, the camera would feature WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing users to post and view media. Perhaps most important, the camera would function like a polaroid camera, boasting four color cartridges and special Instagram photo paper. This photo paper would have a strip of post-it like glue on the back. In addition, each photo would feature a QR Code, allowing other users to scan the QR code and find the photo-taker online.
Users can now take a photo, post online and share with followers, and print the photo – anywhere, anytime.

Though the camera is just a concept, it will be interesting to see if Instagram would choose to sell the rights/license to use the Instagram logo. Could this be a possible revenue stream for Instagram – even if they were simply collecting small royalties?


Mashup: Pinstagram

A little over a week ago, two young entrepreneurs launched the mashup site called Pinstagram. This site combines the capabilities of Instagram and Pinterest, giving Instagram the desktop platform it never had before. To use the site, all you need to do is sign in through Instagram and you will be able to view all of your photos in Pinterests’ famous “waterfall” layout. Not only can you view, like, and comment on user photos, but you can pin the ones you like to your Pinterest pinboards. Pinstagram creators saw a need for the website, believing that many people “are still browsing the web on desktops.”

Do you think this is true or will the mobile trend wipe out a need for Pinstagram?

How does it compare with the previously founded Pingram?

FTC Investigates Facebook-Instagram Deal

Facebook’s purchase of Instagram made headlines due to Instagram’s $1 billion price tag.  Well the deal is not yet complete and the FTC has launched an investigation into the acquisition, seeking information from Google Inc. and Twitter. While the details are still unclear, it could be the FTC just following protocol, as they usually launch investigations of significant deals. There is no doubt this deal is significant.

Do you think the investigation is just routine?

Viddy – Insta….Video?

The iPhone app of the week, Viddy, is gaining popularity among creators and users of mobile media. Available for iPhone currently, and possibly other platforms later, the application is much like Instagram, but with videos.

Viddy Effects Screen

According to the Viddy website, “Viddy is a simple way for anyone to capture, produce, and share beautiful videos with the world. Record a moment of your life, give it that cinematic look with our production packs, and share it with those who matter most.” The application allows users to take a video, trim the video, and add effects. The videos can then be uploaded to Viddy’s online site, or to Facebook and Viddy has received media coverage this week due to a recent high-profile joiner, Mark Zuckerberg. Though he only has one video as of Monday, he has thousands of followers. The reasons he states for joining are reminiscent of his response when he joined Pinterest. Zuckerberg has a presence on many social media sites, such as Google+ and Twitter. However, his membership and use does speak volumes for the rising interest in the app, and has served to build buzz around Viddy.

As of Monday, the app had 16 million users, adding 500,000 news users a day. On Viddy’s first year anniversary, April 11th, they had just passed 4 million users. The app is also partnering with Facebook, and integrated their mobile video service into FB’s new Timeline. Though many app developers have been utilizing the Facebook mobile platform and their Timeline switchover, Viddy stands out. After launching their Timeline app in February, Viddy went from 60,000 active users to over 1.7 million. In addition, there have been more than 15 million interactions with Viddy content on Facebook since Viddy launched its Timeline app.

Viddy vs. Instagram

Viddy has consistently been called the Instagram of videos, but why? The picture on the left shows a direct comparison between the home screens of both apps. The layouts of both screens are almost identical, particularly the buttons along the bottom. The concept is the same as Instagram, but with videos (perhaps upping the ante on self-expression and creativity?).

In addition, the rising popularity of Viddy offers similar marketing incentives as those provided through Instagram. Viddy can be used for interaction, to allow users to make commercials, to hold contests, etc. In the world of social media and Internet marketing, Viddy is something to keep your eye on.

Have you ever heard of Viddy?

Facebook Takeover of Instagram: The Right Decision?

As is well known, Instagram has been bought by Facebook. But the following are specifics that you most likely don’t know or haven’t thought about.

  1. This deal was worked out over a long weekend (roughly 3 days) between CEO Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Kevin Systrom
  2. The CEO’s  are both under 30 and this deal is one of the largest in recent history
  3. Facebook is set to go public and is estimated to be worth around 100 billion, so roughly 1 percent of net worth has been spent on this takeover
  4. Systrom’s initial offering price was around $2 billion according to sources
  5. Analysts valued Instagram around $500 million
  6. Instagram currently has around 40 million users
  7. This type of deal would only be possible in non-publicly held companies and could be viewed as Zuckerberg’s last impulse purchase decision, before the IPO

Let’s take a look at the above and see about more of an in-depth review of these issues.

First, the power of these two young players is incredible being that they are both in charge of privately held companies. With the technology boom there appears to be a shift in authority to the younger and more tech savvy generation. This type of purchase is considered risky and unorthodox by many investors and by the book analysts. It almost seems that Zuckerberg is acting through paranoia and desire to eliminate any potential competitor, when ultimately, Facebook may have simply been able to out compete Instagram. Think about this, one billion was paid for a company that to this date did not have any revenue and only 13 employees. That is 76.9 Million for each employee if you do the math evenly, sounds a little high for what it is, don’t you think?

Secondly, there are plenty of other photo upload apps that are on the market. Is Facebook’s strategy to try to buy up and eliminate all competitors? This will only encourage more new companies to form to compete for this market and a share of Facebooks deep pockets. Where is the competitive advantage development of one of the world’s most successful companies, where are Facebooks strengths and abilities to outsmart, out develop and out compete? I would like to take a moment to reference one of the greatest strategic thinkers of our time, Michael Porter “Eliminating Rivals is a risky strategy. A profit windfall from removing today’s competitors often attracts new competitors and backlash from customers and suppliers” I believe this accurately portrays that this will entice others to join the photo uploading, social media competition market.

Lastly, the motives behind the deal need to be investigated, such as:  was instagram really a threat? Business Insider argued that Instagram was Facebook’s biggest threat and that Facebook could eventually lose out to Instagram because of Instagram’s ease of use through the mobile devices. As more and more users access the internet and social media websites through their phones, they want to be able to upload and view photos easily. One way that the article outlines the ease of use of Instagram is the sheer number of screens that are used vs. Facebooks number, Instagram users need to only access one screen, where Facebook users need to use six and the load time is slower. This article is missing a major factor in a consumer’s decision to abandon and move to a new social media/photo sharing website. They are completely ignoring switching costs. The specific cost of switching from Facebook to Instagram is the rebuilding of your friend lists as not all Facebook users have Instagram. We each remember the annoyance of creating a Linked-In profile and connections when we already had a Facebook page and friend database collected, but we did it because the purpose and intent are different. Facebook and Instagrams purpose and intent are the same, and there is no reason that Facebook couldn’t have developed better mobile updates to limit the amount of screens to go through.  Facebook could also add easy photo editing options without having to buy out a competitor that would not have been a long run threat with some small tweaks to the already existing Facebook mobile application.

Ultimately, a quick search of the internet will reveal many articles that completely disagree with my assessment above and state instead, that the acquisition was a bold and intelligent move that will eliminate a very real threat to Facebook. The logic is the same as mentioned above as well as the platform being created for mobile users and not for desktops or laptops. But the common thing that these articles are assuming is that Facebook would not have strategically adapted to out compete these smaller businesses. I think the acquisition was an easy way out of having to creatively solve the problem, but again, thats just my opinion.

Sources: 1, 2, 3