Come on, Instagram users: You didn’t think your feed would stay blissfully ad-free forever, did you? Instagram announced on Wednesday that it will start delivering ads to users’ Instagram feeds over the next couple of months as a way to grow its revenues. The Facebook-owned company says it wants to make sure that “any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands” and will insist that the ads it displays will “be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.” Users will also be able to block ads that they don’t like and will be able to give Instagram feedback about what ads they’d prefer to see in their feeds.
Are you ready for your Instagram feed to be just as clogged with ads as your Facebook page? If not, then too bad: The Wall Street Journal reports that Instagram will soon start supporting ads anyway. Specifically, the Journal says that former Facebook executive and current Instagram COO Emily White has been leading an effort to generate more revenue for Instagram and that we should expect to start seeing ads on the photo-sharing service within the next year. The Journal says that White’s challenge has been figuring out “how to integrate marketing without jeopardizing Instagram’s cool factor.” Given that Instagram is now competing in the short video-sharing realm with popular services such as Vine, it can ill-afford to alienate users and will have to implement advertisements on the service cautiously.
It was only a matter of time — and possibly cash — before Instagram finally decided to develop a mobile app for Windows Phone 8. WMPoweruser points us to some remarks made by Nokia executive vice president Chris Weber, who claims that Instagram is at long last coming to Microsoft’s mobile platform although he didn’t give any specific release date for the popular photo-sharing app. Instagram is one of the major apps that Windows Phone is still missing, along with such mobile standards as Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google Maps, YouTube and Flipboard. Microsoft has been aggressively throwing money at developers to bring their apps to Windows Phone so it’s probably only a matter of time before most of these apps make their way to the platform.
Here’s one advantage to not having Instagram on your smartphone: You won’t be tempted to upload pictures of your criminal activities for the whole world to see. The New York Daily News reports that New York police this week made the biggest gun bust in the city’s history after arresting two weapons runners and 17 accomplices while seizing more than 250 illegal firearms. More →
It seems that Facebook really doesn’t want Windows Phone users uploading photos onto Instagram. The Verge reports that Facebook seems to be deleting all Instagram photos uploaded through Instance, a third-party app that lets Windows Phone users put their pictures on the popular photo-sharing network. Although Instance users can upload their pictures to Instagram, The Verge says that “after just seconds, the photos disappear from an Instagram account and the URLs to access them no longer work.” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom recently said that Instagram wouldn’t be coming to Windows Phone or BlackBerry “anytime soon” and the company appears very determined to keep unauthorized platforms from enjoying its services. More →
Things looked mighty grim for Vine a month ago. The app went into tail spin in America when Instagram launched a video clip service that copied carefully the most popular Vine features. Vine went from the No. 1 free app in America in mid-June to No. 26 on July 8th, an unusual swan dive for a top download. Yet even the mighty Facebook has been unable to squash Instagram’s top rival. More →
Instagram revised its terms of service last December in an attempt to open new doors to potential advertisers. The change was met with intense user backlash, however, as many feared the popular photo-sharing service was looking to sell or license their personal photos without their consent. Lucy Rodriguez, being represented by the law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk, filed a class-action lawsuit against Instagram and owner Facebook for breach of contract and allegedly trying to “grab for customer property rights.” Judge William Alsup for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday ruled that Rodriguez could not sue Instagram because procedural grounds for a class-action lawsuit were not met, CNET reported. The judge dismissed the case and also rejected a request to amend the claim. The law firm now intends to refile the case in San Francisco Superior Court.
Instagram’s ambitious chief executive has big plans for the photo-sharing app. CEO Kevin Systrom has helped Instagram grow from a small startup to one of the most popular mobile apps in the world. Since being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, Instagram’s user base has more than tripled to over 130 million users. Despite increased competition from services like Vine, Instagram has held its own. Systrom noted that if the service keeps growing at its current rate, not only will it be bigger than Facebook, but it “will be the biggest thing in the world.” The big question, however, is if Instagram can maintain its current growth. The executive acknowledged that growing to such a tremendous level may not easy, especially since Facebook still has more than eight times the number of users. More →
Instagram on Wednesday announced an important new feature that could help its video-sharing service grow by leaps and bounds: embedding onto websites. Instagram’s embedding protocols are very similar to YouTube’s, as you can click a “share” button below a video that then gives you HTML code that you copy and paste onto your website. The Facebook-owned Instagram is also assuring its users that “your embedded photo or video appears with your Instagram username, and clicking on the Instagram logo will take people to your page on Instagram.com where they can discover more of your photos and videos.” Instagram’s video sharing service, which lets users upload videos of up to 15 seconds in length, is an attempt by Facebook to keep up with Twitter’s popular Vine video app. With an active user count of around 130 million people, Instagram’s video sharing figures to be a very popular feature for mobile users.
On June 20th, Instagram debuted a video-sharing feature that comes very, very close to replicating Vine’s functionality. In less than 10 days, Vine shares on Twitter plunged to less than one-third of the mid-June level. But the most astonishing current trend is just how steeply Vine’s download volume is declining. In America, Vine has dropped from the No.3 free iPhone download in mid-June to No.16 on July 7th. Vine was the No.1 iPhone app in America as recently as June 13th. More →
The impact of Instagram’s new video product on Vine was felt almost immediately, but a new report paints a far scarier picture of Vine’s decline now that Instagram is looking to eat its lunch. Using Topsy’s analytics tool, Marketing Land ran a quick analysis of links to Instagram and links to Vine posted on Twitter during the 30-day period ending on June 26th. The results are pretty staggering, and quite disconcerting for the Twitter-owned Vine app. According to Topsy, Vine videos shared on Twitter sat at about 2.5 million on June 19th, the day before Facebook added video-sharing to Instagram. That figure plummeted 40% on June 20th as video rolled out to Instagram users, and it continued declining to just 919,000 on June 26th. Meanwhile, a total of 1.49 million Instagram videos and images were shared on June 26th, according to Topsy’s data.
The recent addition of video to the popular Instagram photo-sharing app opened up a whole new world for users looking for new ways to share content. In addition to static images, users are now able to post 15-second videos complete with exclusive filter effects and sound. But now there’s a brand new way to share content on Instagram, that is even more unique thanks to an app called TRYPTpic. More →
Big name companies such as Path, Facebook, Tumbler and Twitter were quick to develop applications for Google’s wearable computing device. Popular photo-sharing service Instagram, however, is in no rush to jump on the Google Glass bandwagon. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in an interview with Fast Company that before the company can even think about a Google Glass app, it must first get on BlackBerry and Windows Phone. He noted that those two platforms will likely “come before Google Glass.” Systrom was quick to warn, however, that those apps may not be released “anytime soon.” More →