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.
Want to join your fellow Instagram fans to be a part of an awesome user created Instagram project? Ryan Chesney (@RyanChesney) has started an Instagram video project and he is calling on fellow users to join. His project, called Enjoy The Journey, is a collective art project which will end with a video that threads together hundreds of Instagram photos into an amazing work of art! Check out a preview here.
To get involved all you need to do it tag your photo with #enjoythejourney and it could be selected to be included in the final video. Some general photo requests (as can be found on the project site):
1. Pictures of you in transit
2. Paths or roads
3. With friends or family
5. At the beach
6. At a concert of amusement park
7. Sunrise or sunsets
I can’t wait to see the finished project!
Guess who won first prize in the Energizer Ultimate Instagram Photo Contest – yours truly. Thank you to all who helped vote! It really is possible to win an Instagram hosted contest and here is proof. And it didn’t even require any effort – just snapping a picture with Instagram. Has anybody else won any contests?
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:
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
So what lies ahead for the future of one of the hottest apps on the planet. Well before we look into where the app is heading, we need to look at part of what makes it so hot right now. And to find that out, look no further than Hotstagram. Well at least if your looking for hot people, you won’t find anything about cars, food, or electronics, but yes, plenty of attractive faces. They have a page for girls and a page for guys. You get to vote for your favorite and check up on the leaderboard to see who has the most votes, and it looks like it updates pretty frequently, about every 2 minutes or so. It automatically defaulted to voting for the girls for my computer, but upon checking out the voting stats the females have about 8 times as many votes as the
guys. Pretty exciting, especially if someone you know is up there, but I’m pretty sure most are professional models, at least the top ranked ones. You can see that the photos that are appearing are those that are tagged with examples of the following: #hotstagram #sexy #girl #girls #shoutouts #instamood #instahub #instago #instagramers #instagramhotgirls #pretty #hot.
So if that is what is hot currently, what is hot for the future. Well, what if people start to get tired of the retro looking photo filters. What if people want something brighter, sharper, or even want to create their own filters. An author for the Atlantic blogged about a photo that uses every Instagram filter. Check it out through this link. Is this part of what we will look for in the future. Is there a great market potential to be combining previous filters, or like we said before, really customizing the filter so that it fits your exact needs. I wouldn’t doubt it, and if it is not Instagram to move first on the app front, it would be expected to see apps moving in this direction as this type of move would really energize users.
What do you think the future of Instagram will be? What do you think the future of photo sharing applications are? How will you be involved?
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!
Let’s talk about some of the most popular Instagram account themes: the 3 F’s.
Let’s start with FOOD.
How many of you have posted pictures of something that you were either about to eat or something you were in the middle of eating? Ever heard the joke: “I order my food based on what will look good on Instagram”? (someeecards) There are many Instagram accounts that only post pictures of food. Many of these images are tagged #foodporn for the visual satisfaction that they invoke.
A Life Worth Eating: Have you ever viewed the “A Life Worth Eating” blog by Adam Goldberg? Goldberg loves to share his passion for food as he travels around the world. To add to his fame, he has created an Instagram account to match, providing pictures of delicious food from around the world. And of course, with the Instagram filter effects, all the food looks mouth-watering. Not only does this account show food, but it also shows the people and places from his travels – it is an explosion of culture! With over 56K followers, Goldberg isn’t doing so bad.
Food Drunk: There is also a number of chefs using Instagram to show off their creations, as well as their favorites they encounter across the world. One user, whose account is called “Food Drunk,” is not quite as popular as Adam Goldberg, but matches up in terms of uploading images that can make anybody hungry.
To see a list of the top 10 “Foodie” Accounts, click here.
Let’s move on to the FASHION.
For all you males out there, I apologize in advance for this segment, but remember I just wrote about food. For all the females, read away! If you love style, Instagram is a great place to learn about upcoming fashion trends and get exclusive looks at many upcoming designer items. We’ve briefly mentioned the existence of brands such as Burberry on Instagram, but the presence of fashion extends far into the abyss.
Take for example Shoe Dazzle, a popular online shoe store, claiming to offer a “behind the scenes” look at the world of Shoe Dazzle through their Instagram account. Shoe Dazzle is a company currently making use of the trend of offering a “personalized” shoe selection to their customers. Shoppers become clients as they make repeat purchases. The company has only posted 20 photos to their account yet have over 2000 followers. The account is full of color, style, and of course…SHOES!
Clothing designers and shoe stores are not the only ones using Instagram to expose their fashion. There are many accounts that exist to serve as “fashion assistants.” These accounts upload images of the latest trends: stylish accessories, celebrity-modeled hairstyles, and the newest beauty products. If you are in need of a little fashion advice, one of the best must-follow accounts is Glitter Guide.
Lastly, let’s talk about the FAMOUS.
If you haven’t heard, Justin Bieber is currently completing a seven-country promo tour. Just this week he flew to Norway and caused mass chaos as a result of hundreds of screaming fans. As a result of the combination of this tour, Justin’s social media interaction, and his overall fame, many are calling Justin Bieber a marketing genius. Known for his frequent tweeting, Justin is now dominating Instagram as the most followed celebrity – currently with 1,896,779 followers. Yes, that’s almost 2 million. His fame is outrageous. Some of his Instagram photos show random landscapes or people, but a majority of them show Justin himself. No wonder there are millions of teenage girls around the world that would do anything to see him, including taking a trip to the emergency room.
Other avid celebrity-instagrammers include Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, and Nicki Minaj. Instagram is the perfect place for these celebrities to post images of the lavish lives that they lead. Along with the food we shouldn’t eat because we care about our health and the fashion we can’t afford, we can envy their private jets, the beach parties, and the champagne.
Along with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is becoming widely used as a social networking tool. Companies and individuals who run blogs are creating profiles on Instagram to continue their interaction with their followers. Brands are stirring up interest in their products through exclusive sneak-peeks. Celebrities are adding another social realm to their existence. The true question to measure your fame should read: “How many Instagram followers do you have?” For me, the number is currently 81 – nothing compared to Justin, but that won’t make me lose any sleep tonight. Find me at @deedee_lynn.
As Diana previously discussed, there are many businesses jumping on the Instagram money train. It’s not surprising to find people wanting a tangible form of their über artistic photos via stickers, magnets, bracelets, canvases etc. What was surprising to find was that even the Instagram logo has taken on a life of its own. The logo is indicative of the photos Instagram takes with its old retro look, but who would have thought people would want to carry over the logo into other forms.
Here are a few we found on Etsy:
1. Handmade Felt Instagram Key Pouch, $17.90
Perfect for your keys & loose change.
2. Instagram Pins, $5 CAD
Only $5! We should buy some for our final presentation.
3. Flannel Instagram Pillow, $45
Cute. But not sure how comfortable it is.
4. Instagram iPhone iPod Crochet Handmade Case, $15
This one’s a steal, handmade and only 15 bucks.
5. Instachain – instagram keychain, $18
Using Instagram to sell their Instagram keychain.
These type of products really speaks to the adoption of Instagram into people’s day to day lives, even outside of the application. Individuals are now identifying themselves as Instagrammers by sporting these crafty accessories. It’s sort of like a club where if others recognize the logo on your iPod case, they’ll know you are an Instagrammer, and if people don’t recognize the logo, they’ll just think it’s a cute case.
Well, I have to be honest, I was surprised to see the Facebook Camera application released when looking through camera applications on the iPhone. This is an interesting strategic move for Facebook considering that they just sunk 1 billion into Instagram and are now releasing an application camera that looks to be in direct competition. The timing seems a little backward to me as stated earlier in this blog, why not just compete against Instagram, rather than buy it out and then compete against it. But either way, let’s look at some of the features of Facebook camera and then compare it with Instagram.
First off, check out the application purchasing screen. This has only been out since 5/25 and already has over 800 reviews at almost a full five stars. It looks like the main marketing behind this product is that it is faster. This was a main complaint about uploading a photo to Facebook previously and one that Instagram seemed to address.
Once the application is downloaded it automatically recognized me as Blake Coffin, due to the fact that I already have the Facebook application on my phone and I could just click “Use as Blake Coffin” and I never needed to sign in. The GPS location was turned on and I was instantly connected with every single one of my over 700 facebook friends. The home page loaded quickly with all of my friend’s recent photos and I was able to start rolling.
Taking a picture was very easy, but again, very closely resembled Instagram’s logic and controls. The camera loaded up more quickly than my Iphone camera, but probably not quite as quickly as the Instagram camera. Once the picture is taken, multiple photo filters are available that help to make the picture look professional, including the black and white one that I have chose here:
Although, one cool difference was the ease of cropping the photo from left and right. Not just the square format that Instagram uses. Although when posted to the wall it maintained its original formatting and did not show the crop until the picture was clicked on. The multiple effects were browsed through and I ended up choosing a black and white one for the final product. Beautiful huh?
Ultimately, the application works similarly to the Instagram application but it is currently missing the ability to view your friends photos in a gallery type environment as it only shows the recent status update photos. My guess is that this type of feature will be included in an update but the release was probably rushed due to the recent Facebook IPO and the stock price falling dramatically. It seems to fit with Facebook’s philosophy that it is better done quicker, than done right later.
Upon some additional research the critics are saying that Facebook was working on this application long before discussions to buy Instagram. So again, with it being so similar to Instagram, why spend the billion? Any feedback or ideas would be great to see on here, let us know what you think?