Posts tagged Instagram

The New Spambot-Free Instagram Is Now Worth $35 Billion

You’ve got to clear out the crap in your life if you want to have room for prosperity. That’s just good feng shui! And look how well it’s worked out for Instagram.

More than 18.9 million fake users vanished from the photo-sharing service between Wednesday and Thursday as Instagram actively deleted spambots, the New York Times reports. And voila! On Friday, Citigroup issued a note valuing Instagram at $35 billion. 

That’s a heck of a return on the $1 billion Facebook paid for the company in 2012. Still, the nearly 55% percent boost over Citigroup’s previous valuation—$19 billion—likely isn’t the total result of the recent Instagram Rapture that depleted celebrity Instagram accounts which attract advertisers with high follower counts. Instagram announced last week that it now has more than 300 million users excluding the deleted spambots—rapid growth that now makes it bigger than bigger than Twitter, with 284 million users.

Like Twitter, Instagram will soon verify its famous users, which might take some of the sting out of the 3.5 million followers Justin Bieber lost to the Instagram rapture, or the 1.3 million Kim Kardashian lost on her account.

Being verifiably famous on Instagram means big money for photo-sharing celebrities willing to endorse brands through the social network. It also means a black market in fake Twitter followers in the form of spambots that can be purchased for a price.

Trouble is, spambots can’t be manipulated into buying stuff a Kardashian says is cool. Still, the industry of shadow followers hasn’t spooked Citigroup, which projects Instagram has the potential to earn as $2 billion annually for Facebook. 

 

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Instagram Is Now Larger Than Twitter With 300 Million Monthly Active Users by @mattsouthern

Instagram announced a new milestone today — less than a year after hitting the 200 million monthly active user mark the photo and video sharing service is now celebrating 300 million monthly active users. These latest numbers represent a jump of 50% in only 9 months. If you’re keeping score, that means it’s now well ahead of Twitter’s monthly active user count, which was last reported to be 284 million. With a reported 70 million photos and videos being shared each day, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom states that the company is “thrilled to watch this community thrive and witness the […]

The post Instagram Is Now Larger Than Twitter With 300 Million Monthly Active Users by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Instagram Hits 300 Million Users, Celebrates With Badges For Celebrities

An Instagram user takes a photo at a meetup. 

Nine short months after the image-sharing site hit the 200 million user milestone, Instagram reports it now has 300 million users.

“Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day,” the social network’s blog post said.

The latest numbers have prompted TechCrunch blogger Josh Constine to note that Instagram has now surpassed Twitter by user count, though keep in mind that Twitter has 284 million active users, while Instagram did not say which percentage of its users are active. On the other hand, Twitter says it has added just 38 million people in the past nine months.

See also: Polaroid’s “Instagram” Camera Finally Opens For Pre-Orders

In tandem with this news, Instagram has announced a new feature that ought to lend it more credibility—celebrity badges. These badges should roll out for eligible users in a couple of days.

“We’re excited to announce verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for you to connect with the authentic accounts you’re looking for,” the post read.

Photo by 5chw4r7z

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Polaroid’s “Instagram” Camera Finally Opens For Pre-Orders

Two years after Italian design firm ADR Studio introduced its concept for one of the most adorable cameras ever, with numerous teases popping up since, the Socialmatic point-and-shooter has finally opened for pre-orders.

A dead ringer for Instagram’s app icon, the chubby, squarish device—which packs its own built-in printer—comes with Polaroid’s branding, a $300 price tag and a ship date of January 1, 2015. The company started promoting the device’s pre-order status on Amazon on Wednesday.

The company officially announced the device back at the Consumer Electronics Show last January. Now, as it heads to the pre-order phase for the holiday season, let’s take a look at this modern version of Polaroid’s classic instant camera.

See also: Polaroid Socialmatic Camera: A Retro Instagram-Style Dream

Not A Serious Camera, But It’s Serious Fun

Despite some suggestion that Socialmatic would vie with Samsung’s Galaxy Camera line, the comparison doesn’t quite work. Both digital cameras run Android software, support wireless (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), and let users snap and share on the spot. But the Galaxy gadgets offer more serious photography chops, especially the second-generation model.

Simply put, the Galaxy Camera 2’s hardware outclasses the Polaroid. Samsung crammed in more megapixels (16MP vs 14MP), a larger touchscreen (4.8 inches vs 4.5 inches) and more storage (8GB vs 4GB), as well as optical zoom and image stabilization. Hardware specifications for Socialmatic don’t even list zoom, though if it has that at all, it’s likely a digital-only proposition. 

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

But Socialmatic isn’t trying to compete as a serious camera. Think of it as a step up from Polaroid’s previous Z2300 or Z340 digital instant print cameras, though with a much cuter aesthetic and plenty of nostalgia baked in. That embedded ZINK (or Zero Ink) printer recalls the glory days when Polaroid’s instant film cameras turned everyday consumers into photography addicts. 

Other products, like Fujifilm’s Instax Mini and Polaroid’s own instant analog cameras, trade on that nostalgic appeal, putting fast, physical photos in people’s hands. 

Fujifilm’s popular Instax Mini 8

Unlike those products, which uses special film that develops on the fly, Socialmatic requires no film. Its built-in printer doesn’t even require ink. That nifty ZINK printer plants clear dye crystals into 2×3-inch photo paper. 

The camera applies a little heat, and the crystals take on color. Presto: photos! But you do need ZINK’s somewhat plasticky photo paper to make it work. In the end, you get smudge-proof, water-resistant, and tear-resistant images to keep or hand pals. As well, of course, as digital image files to upload to your social network of choice. 

Earlier prototypes didn’t produce impressive visuals. Then again, classic instant film cameras weren’t known for their quality either, so that may not be a big downside. Given the device’s purpose, the quality could suffice just fine, and the final production model may even improve on it.

If not, the unit still functions as a digital camera capable of sharing directly to your social networks via Android apps. That means people can snap and immediately send to services like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and, of course, Instagram, whose app looks like a close cousin of Socialmatic’s outward appearance. 

Point, Shoot And Remember Fondly

It’s not quite fair or accurate to imply that Polaroid copied Instagram. After all, the popular photo app and social network obviously borrowed from Polaroid’s aesthetic to begin with.  

Obviously not sized proportionally: Instagram app (left), classic Polaroid instant film camera (middle), the new Socialmatic instant digital camera (right)

So in a sense, Socialmatic merely brings this food chain of product development around full circle. Polaroid also extended this charmingly retro design sensibility to its tiny Polaroid Cube HD action camera.

See also: Polaroid Cube: The Cutest Action Camera Yet

Whatever the inspiration or shortcomings of this chunky, flat and perhaps impractically square device, it’s tough not to root for it. This looks like Polaroid’s best bid yet to update its retro brand with modern features, all in a popular product with potentially massive appeal. That’s something the company has desperately needed for years. 

Polaroid’s business has been collateral damage in the consumer market’s move to digital photography; the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001. Ever since, Polaroid has been trying to find a way to make the most of its fondly remembered brand, dabbling in licensing, new cameras and printers, and other pursuits.

Its long-awaited Socialmatic could be the product to make Polaroids relevant again. The only thing standing in its way: price. During this holiday season, you can get a lot more camera for $300—including the Galaxy Camera 2. It all depends on what price people are willing to pay for a charming nod to the past and wink at the present. 

Lead photo courtesy of Polaroid/Socialmatic; classic Polaroid image courtesy of Shutterstock; all others via Amazon

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Twitter Photo Filters: Now With More Instagram

Twitter ‘s new photo filter for Android.

Snapping that selfie on your Instagram app, choosing the most flattering crop and filter, and hitting “save” is exhausting. And you’re not even done! You’ve still got to take that well-crafted pic and post it on Twitter. If only there was a way to streamline the process. 

Twitter to the rescue! The social network rolled out improved photos filters for iOS and Android mobile apps on Tuesday, with a user interface that could easily pass for Instagram’s identical cousin. 

Instagram addicts need not worry about a learning curve. Filter options slide out in a swipeable line with an Instagram-like selection of Radiant, Positive, Warm, Breeze, Glow, Golden, Fame, and Stark. Double tap after you’ve made a selection, and an adjustable slider appears, letting you adjust the filter density. 

Twitter’s old photo filter. 

Twitter’s update is a much-needed improvement over the tiny grid of filter choices it rolled out in 2012. 

The previous version made viewing a full-screen version of a filtered photo a clumsy affair for impatient mobile phone photographers. As social networks fight for photo-sharing dominance, it’s not wise to give your users a reason to leave the app even for a minute. 

See also: Search All The Tweets! Twitter Now Indexed All The Way Back To 2006

Twitter’s new photo filter for iOS.

Twitter’s updated photo filters roll out for iOS and Android today. Once you’ve updated your Twitter app, you won’t even have to go through Instagram to share your perfectly filtered photo Twittersphere. Though of course, you still have to post it on Instagram. 

Twitter’s new photo filter images courtesy of Twitter. Twitter’s old photo filter photo by Helen A.S. Popkin’s iPhone.

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10 Tools To Give Your Instagram Campaign a Boost by @albertcostill

Did you hear the big news? Instagram recently unveiled several new features that are making its users all giddy. For those uninitiated, Instagram finally updated its system so that users can edit captions on their posts – previously this was a head scratching limitation. As the press release states, “a typo shouldn’t get in the way” of capturing your favorite moments. The other update was improvements to the Explore page which now features a ‘Photos’ tab and a ‘People tab. This will make it easier for you to find the accounts that you think are more interesting or relevant. Even without […]

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Tumblr Is Now The Fastest Growing Social Media Platform, Edging Out Instagram and Pinterest by @mattsouthern

A report released today by Global Web Index (GWI) reveals that Tumblr is now the fastest growing social network, with its active user base having grown 120% in the past six months. At the bottom of the list? Facebook — although it’s still by far the largest. However, with over a billion monthly active users how much more room is there to grow? In overall new member signups, Pinterest led the charge with 57% growth, followed by Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, and Google+ respectively. Facebook member base only grew by a paltry 6%, but again I direct you to my […]

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Instagram Upgrades Search, Editing, and Explore Features

Instagram listened to its users and determined that it was time to evolve its system to meet the needs of consumers.

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Instagram Adds Ability To Edit Captions, Improves People Search by @mattsouthern

Instagram announced a few new updates and improvements today that will no doubt make a lot of users happy. Have you ever published a picture, and then minutes later think of the perfect caption for it? Or even worse, regret the caption you ended up publishing? Well now you don’t have to delete the picture and erase all the comments and likes it generated, you can just edit the caption and leave everything else unchanged. According to Instagram, that was among the top requested features from the Instagram community. It couldn’t be easier to use either — at the bottom […]

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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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