Posts tagged Instagram

Instagram Becomes A Serious Business Tool With A Suite Of Useful New Features by @mattsouthern

Instagram says inspiring and empowering brands to create beautiful imagery that engages its 200 million members is something the company is always striving for. It’s no surprise that the one thing Instagram hears over and over again from businesses is that they want more insight into how people engage with and respond to their photos and videos. Instagram has announced that businesses will finally be getting what they asked for. We’re excited to announce that over the coming weeks and months, we’ll begin rolling out a new suite of tools to help brands better understand the performance of their paid […]

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Instagram Launches Advertising Analytics

Instagram is making it possible for businesses to find out just how well their advertising performs.

On Thursday, the company rolled out a suite of business tools to manage ad campaigns. Account insights and ad insights display impressions, reach, and engagement, both for particular ad campaigns and the account itself. An advertising staging feature enables advertisers to edit and preview campaigns before launching.

Instagram worked with a handful of advertisers before giving analytics to all advertisers this week. The company will make the new tools available to all brands later this year.

Instagram launched advertising last fall. 

Images courtesy of Instagram.

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5 Ways Instagram Can Boost Your SEO – Business 2 Community

5 Ways Instagram Can Boost Your SEO
Business 2 Community
What appeared to be just a platform to share photos also plays a decent role in ranking sites. You guessed it right. We are talking about Instagram and the way it has come up as the next big thing for SEO. To provide its users with more relevant links

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Instagram Officially Launches Snapchat Competitor Bolt Outside The US by @mattsouthern

Last week, information leaked that Instagram may be working on an app called Bolt that appeared to be a Snapchat competitor. Today, that information was confirmed to be true as Instagram has officially launched Bolt in select markets outside the US. Only Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand will get this initial rollout of the iOS and Android apps. Unfortunately, the download links won’t work if you’re not in one of those three countries. According to TechCrunch, Instagram says those countries were chosen because they meet a unique set of criteria. Each country features: High Instagram usage Deeply interconnected communities High […]

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Instagram May Be Working On A Snapchat Competitor, Called Bolt by @mattsouthern

A select number of Instagram users have received notifications prompting them to download a new ‘one tap photo messaging’ app called Bolt. According to user reports, when tapping on the ‘Free’ button to download the app the link becomes a dead end. These notifications have since been removed, possibly indicating that Instagram accidentally leaked something they didn’t intend to. Facebook has been known to test unreleased features inside its Android and iOS app only to officially release them later. This is how Facebook typically introduces new features, but the company has also inadvertently leaked information before it was officially made […]

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Instagram for Business: Data-based Answers re: Timing, Hashtags, and More via @Buffer by @kevanlee

How do you choose which social media networks to participate in? Certainly, there’re a ton to choose from. Are you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn? Are you on Pinterest and Tumblr? Instagram and Vine? How many social media networks can you handle? Instagram makes a strong case, if you’re interested in raw numbers and unique appeal. Instagram has 200 million active users and provides a huge asset for visual content, which we all know is driving social like none other. It’s one of the top 10 most popular smartphone apps with growth nearly doubling that of every competitor ahead of it on the list. More […]

The post Instagram for Business: Data-based Answers re: Timing, Hashtags, and More via @Buffer by @kevanlee appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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5 Instagram Tips For Shooting Fireworks Photos

It’s that time of year again. Tonight in the U.S., millions of people will flock to a neighborhood street corner, park or Independence Day Festival to stare at the sky. And after a few beautiful moments, many will attempt to snap photos of fireworks with their smartphones. 

Watching fireworks displays can be an exciting, awe-inspiring experience. Flipping through photos of them later on is usually anything but. This time last year, I remember trying to capture the spectacle of light exploding above me and my friends, only to scroll through an Instagram feed of terrible, blurry images the day after. 

Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Before you take off for the evening’s festivities, take a look at these tips for capturing and sharing your photos (and videos!) on Instagram.

Pro tip: No matter which advice you follow, always make sure your flash is turned off. Camera LED flashes yield terrible night-time shots anyway, but if you’re in a crowd, all you’ll see is the back of people’s heads—brightly lit and set against a dark sky with a speckle of light that may or may not be a firework. 

Get As Close As Possible

One of the big reasons fireworks photos tend to be a total failure is because spectators sit far away from the subject. But the closer you can (safely) get, the better the pictures will be. The lights will be closer and brighter, and with a more direct line of sight, you’ll have fewer pesky phones getting in the way. 

Don’t try to take photos during the first few fireworks. Wait a moment to see where in the sky the fireworks explode, then angle your phone at the spot where most of the action appears.

Brace your smartphone with both arms to stabilize the picture.

Put Your Body Into It

Last year, my fireworks photos were awful, partly because I, like everyone else, raised my hands high in the air before taking the pictures.

Instead, try the old trick teachers tell budding photographers and videographers: Use your body to stabilize the shots. 

Essentially, the idea is to use your arms and torso as a tripod. Just hold the device in your right hand and bring your right elbow in against your abdomen (nestling it in there), so that your right hand is in front of your face. Bring your left arm tight against your body, and grasp your right wrist. Southpaws out there can do the same, but with the opposite arms.

Use Focus Tools

Similar to the stock iPhone or Android camera app, Instagram has a tool that lets you change the focus, and lightness or darkness of a photo, with a simple tap. A circle will appear where you touched the screen, and automatically adjust based on the area you chose. Try tapping a few different spots to get the best exposure. 

See Also: Capture A Moment: The Best Photo And Video Apps

You could also use the built-in camera app on your phone, and import the photos from your camera roll or gallery into Instagram. Android users can even lock the exposure by holding down the capture button. 

Before you take any photos, turn on HDR (or high dynamic range) to balance the luminosity and retain the best parts of the picture. For iPhones, you can do this by tapping the top of your display. To take multiple photos at once, hold down the capture button; you’ll see how many photos you’ve taken appear at the bottom of your screen. On Android phones, you can turn on HDR and multi-shot options on under “settings.” 

Use The New Instagram Filters To Amp Up The Light Show

Thanks to the new filter and editing tools Instagram rolled out last month, you can take even more creative control of your photos.

Tap on the wrench icon to adjust the brightness, contrast, warmth, highlights, shadows and more on each photo. And if you don’t want the filter to overtake your image—which happens to me more than I’d like to admit—you can now double-tap on the filter and lower the strength of it.

Don’t Forget The IRL Experience

You might get the urge to scroll through your Instagram feed and see what all your friends are up to tonight in real life, but chances are good they’re posting fireworks photos, just like you are.

After you’ve got a nice shot or two, put the device back in your pocket and enjoy the show. It’s amazing how immersive and stunning fireworks displays are now, and trapping your view in that smartphone screen is no way to celebrate independence.

Because let’s be honest, no matter how good your photos are, they’ll never be as good as seeing the real thing. 

Images by Richard on Flickr.

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WTF: Here’s Why I Couldn’t Post My Lesbian In-Joke On Instagram

[Update: We've corrected this story following its initial publication and updated it throughout to reflect information Instagram provided us on Saturday morning. The company says that while it does filter comments for certain banned terms, "lez" is not one of them. Instead, Instagram says its logs show that Hatmaker (inadvertently) @-mentioned herself in the comment, a practice that it blocks on certain accounts to prevent "follow spam." —ReadWrite senior editor David Hamilton]

Friday morning, like every other morning, I opened Instagram as soon as I woke up. I was met with a notification from my sort-of-ex-girlfriend (it’s complicated). She’d tagged me on a post by New York fashion line Public School to say that a decidedly tomboyish outfit they’d posted would look good on me (it would).

Since I already own a very similar knit blazer, don’t know how to dress myself, and liked the look, I replied “lez do this.” Apparently that’s where it all went wrong.

I was instantly met with a pop-up warning I’d never seen in all my days on Instagram, still my Favorite App Ever.

Confused, I hit ignore. A few tries later, my comment went through and I was left wondering what else triggers this “comment blocked” pop-up in the name of “protecting their community.”

Here are all the reasons—with no more information than that my “content and actions” were deemed worthy of restriction—why I found the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app’s blocking of my incredibly innocent @reply unsettling (albeit hilarious):

  1. I’ve been an active Instagram user for years and have never run into this message before.
  2. The comment was a reply from a queer woman (me) to another queer woman.
  3. Have you seen some of the shit on Instagram?
  4. The Instagram post was promoting a pop-up shop at J. Crew, a company helmed by the iconic lesbian (and not-lesbian) style icon Jenna Lyons, who is in a relationship with a woman. Irony!

Our team tried to provoke the pop-up censorship warning again with a long series of profanity, gay-ish synonyms and references to the female anatomy, with no luck.

Sure Instagram, next time I’ll hit “tell you” and not “ignore”—but putting the burden on me to explain why my language was acceptable feels pretty absurd, you being under the wing of the biggest social network ever created and all.

After I asked for comment, Instagram told me that it does ban some words, but “lez” is not one of them. 

Instead, its logs show I mentioned my own account, @tayhatmaker, the first time I tried to post my reply. On larger accounts, those with tens of thousands of followers, Instagram doesn’t allow “self-mentions,” which are often attempts by users to beg popular users to follow them. I don’t recall doing that, but logs are logs, and it explains why I was able to post my comment on subsequent attempts, and why my colleagues were able to post similar comments in their tests.

I’m relieved to learn that Instagram wasn’t censoring me, but I wish its alert had made it clearer what was going on—for example, by explaining that it was not in fact the content of my comment that triggered the block, but instead my inadvertent self-mention.

Why Social Censorship Matters To The LGBTQ Community

Here’s some context on why I found Instagram’s pop-up message so alarming, not realizing there was an innocent explanation for it.

In Internet gay lady subculture (and likely tongue-in-cheek queer culture at large), it’s not uncommon to substitute the word “lez” for “let’s” whenever possible—it’s funnier, shorter and gayer, so why not? Approximately zero humans I know actually identify as a “lez” or any similarly silly-sounding variation thereof, but it’s a teensy sliver of the intra-community lexicon. (Facebook, to its credit, offers 56 gender options on its social network.)

Like much language exchanged between marginalized folks, using the word “lez”—just like choosing to identify as “queer”—is a powerful act, reappropriating terms that many of us encountered as weaponized slurs and hatespeech in the past. That’s the gist of why we need to be alert to incidents like this—and make sure there’s not censorship at play.

Right now, social apps like Instagram (Tumblr also springs to mind) are teeming with diverse subcommunities—and that’s unprecedented. Today, anyone can track a resonant identity-based hashtag and discover a thriving current of people like them just beneath the surface.

Growing up gay before the modern social media age, I can’t imagine how much less alone Instagram’s platform of anonymous yet out-in-the-open community would have made me feel—even if it’s mostly selfies. 

A Dangerous Precedent

Whether or not Instagram blocked the word “lez” in this case—again, to be clear, the company says it didn’t—it’s not a stranger to awkward, protecting-us-from-ourselves censorship. The company recently apologized after arbitrarily censoring a fat-positive vlogger’s photo of her body, which—as it turns out—wasn’t pornographic at all.

Random, misguided censorship is nothing new for the word “lesbian” either. When Google introduced Google Instant search results back in 2010, a query of the word “lesbian” turned up literally blank. “Bisexual” got the same treatment, whereas “gay”—a term historically more associated with gay men—was a thriving hub of cultural and political results.

Rather than improve the quality of its results (i.e. weed out the porn that tech giants are so afraid of), Google’s bizarre choice at the time not only hindered its users from finding often much-needed—sometimes literally life or death—queer resources, but also damaged the much-needed traffic of the already (and still) “ghettoized” places providing those resources. Hell, even a Google Instant search of “lesbian books” resulted in a void.

Censoring the often encoded language exchanged within social sub-communities repeats a dangerous precedent—not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other disenfranchised groups: namely people of color, women navigating vicious Web harassment—and yes, even body-positive selfie-takers.

By now, given Facebook’s unparalleled resources—and unimaginably huge sample of social data—I’d bet that Instagram, like Google, can come up with a better approach. 

View full post on ReadWrite

WTF: Instagram Censored My Lesbian In-Joke On A Gay Style Post

Friday morning, like every other morning, I opened Instagram as soon as I woke up. I was met with a notification from my sort-of-ex-girlfriend (it’s complicated). She’d tagged me on a post by New York fashion line Public School to say that a decidedly tomboyish outfit they’d posted would look good on me (it would).

Since I already own a very similar knit blazer, don’t know how to dress myself, and liked the look, I replied “lez do this.” Apparently that’s where it all went wrong.

I was instantly met with a pop-up warning I’d never seen in all my days on Instagram, still my Favorite App Ever.

Confused, I hit ignore. A few tries later, my comment went through and I was left wondering what else triggers this “comment blocked” pop-up in the name of “protecting their community.”

Instagram’s censorship of my incredibly innocent @reply is unsettling (albeit hilarious) for a lot of reasons. 

  1. I’ve been an active Instagram user for years and have never run into this message before.
  2. The comment was a reply from a queer woman (me) to another queer woman.
  3. Have you seen some of the shit on Instagram?
  4. Our team tried to provoke the pop-up censorship warning again with a long series of profanity, gay-ish synonyms and references to the female anatomy, with no luck.
  5. The Instagram post was promoting a pop-up shop at J.Crew, a company helmed by the iconic lesbian (and not-lesbian) style icon Jenna Lyons, who is in a relationship with a woman. Irony!

Sure Instagram, next time I’ll hit “tell you” and not “ignore”—but putting the burden on me to explain why my language was acceptable feels pretty absurd, you being under the wing of the biggest social network ever created and all.

(I’ve reached out to Instagram for comment—I’m particularly curious about what happens if you click “tell us”—and will update this story accordingly.)

Why Social Censorship Matters To The LGBTQ Community

In Internet gay lady subculture (and likely tongue-in-cheek queer culture at large), it’s not uncommon to substitute the word “lez” for “let’s” whenever possible—it’s funnier, shorter and gayer, so why not? Approximately zero humans I know actually identify as a “lez” or any similarly silly-sounding variation thereof, but it’s a teensy sliver of the intra-community lexicon.

Like much language exchanged between marginalized folks, using the word “lez”—just like choosing to identify as “queer”—is a powerful act, reappropriating terms that many of us encountered as weaponized slurs and hatespeech in the past. That’s the gist of why this matters in this particular if somewhat silly instance.

Right now, social apps like Instagram (Tumblr also springs to mind) are teeming with diverse subcommunities—and that’s unprecedented. Today, anyone can track a resonant identity-based hashtag and discover a thriving current of people like them just beneath the surface.

Growing up gay before the modern social media age, I can’t imagine how much less alone Instagram’s platform of anonymous yet out-in-the-open community would have made me feel—even if it’s mostly selfies. 

A Dangerous Precedent

For Instagram, this sort of awkward, protecting-us-from-ourselves censorship isn’t a first. The company recently apologized after arbitrarily censoring a fat-positive vlogger’s photo of her body, which—as it turns out—wasn’t pornographic at all.

Unfortunately, random, misguided censorship is nothing new for the word “lesbian” either. When Google introduced Google Instant search results back in 2010, a query of the word “lesbian” turned up literally blank. “Bisexual” got the same treatment, whereas “gay”—a term historically more associated with gay men—was a thriving hub of cultural and political results.

Rather than improve the quality of its results (i.e. weed out the porn that tech giants are so afraid of), Google’s bizarre choice at the time not only hindered its users from finding often much-needed—sometimes literally life or death—queer resources, but also damaged the much-needed traffic of the already (and still) “ghettoized” places providing those resources. Hell, even a Google Instant search of “lesbian books” resulted in a void.

Censoring the often encoded language exchanged within social sub-communities repeats a dangerous precedent—not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other disenfranchised groups: namely people of color, women navigating vicious web harassment—and yes, even body-positive selfie-takers.

By now, given Facebook’s unparalleled resources—and unimaginably huge sample of social data—I’d bet that Instagram, like Google, can come up with a better approach. 

View full post on ReadWrite

Why Your Business Should be on Instagram by @esornoso

Businesses already using Facebook and Twitter have a good start for implementing an online presence with social media. However, while these two online giants once ruled the landscape of social media, they are no longer always the best way for businesses to connect with current customers and attract new ones. Instead, Instagram is taking the front seat in helping businesses establish an online presence. Here is a look at Instagram and why you should consider it for your business. Newsfeed Posts If you are on Facebook, there is no guaranteeing your customers are seeing your updates or newsfeed comments. Due to Facebook’s algorithm, more […]

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