2013 was the year of the selfie, according to the Oxford English Dictionary — but self-snaps aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Everybody is taking selfies, from President Obama to astronaut Aki Hoshide. With the proliferation of smartphones with front-facing cameras, selfies have become mainstream. And with apps like Snapchat and Instagram that encourage people to take photos of themselves, the selfie will likely grow in popularity in 2014. More →
At a press conference last week, Instagram unveiled a new feature for its mobile apps called Instagram Direct. With messaging apps having been identified as the next big thing du jour, Instagram finally decided it was time to get in on the action. Instagram Direct is a private messaging service built into Instagram’s existing mobile apps, meaning after a simple update, almost every Instagram user out there has instant access to the service. Users can send photos and videos privately, and then exchange text messages from within the app as well. But what happens when you inevitably have second thoughts after sharing a photo or video privately? Luckily, “unsending” an Instagram Direct message could not be easier. More →
Facebook-owned Instagram on Thursday announced a new addition to its wildly popular mobile app suite that looks to capitalize on the recent boom in mobile messaging apps. Dubbed Instagram Direct, the service allows users to send and receive photos, videos and text messages privately with other Instagram users as well as groups of Instagram users, outside of the main public feed. More →
Instagram has had a busy 2013. In June, video was added to the service as a counterplay to Twitter’s Vine. Last month, Instagram rolled out advertisements. Just days ago, Instagram finally showed up on Windows Phone, albeit with some serious omissions. Gigaom reports that the last major update of the year might be the most significant yet: messaging. More →
Instagram first announced that it would start including advertisements in users’ feeds at the beginning of the month. The company did not reveal much information about how the ads would appear on feeds, but it assured users that the ads would be natural and creative, fitting in seamlessly with other photos and videos. On Thursday, Instagram provided a picture of a sample ad on its blog, which has a distinct “Sponsored” label plastered where the time stamp would normally appear. According to the blog post, you can “[t]ap this label to learn more about how advertising works on Instagram.” More →
Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app acquired by Facebook for $1 billion last year, is finally coming to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. The announcement came early Tuesday morning from the Nokia World 2013 conference in Abu Dhabi. “Our ultimate goal is to bring Instagram to everyone who wants to use it,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said on stage as he joined Nokia executives during the company’s keynote presentation. “We’re looking forward to watching the Windows Phone community use Instagram to capture and share beautiful moments in the coming weeks.” Windows Phone has seen numerous unofficial Instagram clients launch in the past, however many of them were eventually blocked by the company. According to Systrom, the Instagram app for Windows Phone will launch sometime in the next few weeks.
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 →