Twitter's openness is its strength, and also its weakness: the ease with which new accounts can be created makes it into an amazing tool for free expression, and also a perfect venue for vicious harassment (see also); but Instagram (a division of Facebook, the home of the walled garden) has announced a suite of anti-harassment tools that seem like they'd be compatible with Twitter, raising the obvious question: why hasn't Twitter already deployed them? Read the rest
Instagram just increased the time limit on user video uploads to a full minute long.
JWZ reminds us that all social media is some variation on the walled garden strategy, designed to lock you in and lock value away from the open, interoperable Web into a silo where it languishes and rots. You know, AOL. Read the rest
Instagram husband is related to Instagram parent of a teenage daughter. Read the rest
Regina, or 1995Regi, as she calls herself on Instagram, is a Polish girl who likes selfies, science fiction, and Drake. She's also the creation of artist Katarzyna Witerscheim, who dreamed Regina up as a cross between a slice-of-life webcomic and a roleplaying game, which you read and interact with through her illustrated selfies on social media.
The details of Regina's life can be gleaned not only from the images Witerscheim creates, but also the interactions she has with followers as Regina. Shortly before Halloween, for example, "Regina" took a poll on what costume to wear; later, in a photo taken at a Halloween party, we see her dressed as the people's choice: Sailor Moon.
In another image, we see Regina kissing a handsome boy named Sasha, and answering questions about where they met. A week later she Instagrams a picture of her tear-stained face: They're broken up. She posts a screenshot of Adele's melodramatic ballad "Hello," playing on her phone. The responses from fans are serious and sympathetic: "Treat yourself kindly and surround yourself with people who love you!!" says one.
South Sudanese model Nykhor Paul is tired of professional makeup artists being unprepared to work with darker skin tones. Read the rest
The TSA has launched an Instagram account, showing all the "dangerous items" they steal confiscate from air travellers. The message is clear: we are keeping you safe from in-flight danger.
But what they don't show is all the grand-jury indictments for conspiracy to commit air terrorism that they secured after catching people with these items -- even the people who were packing guns. Read the rest
Troy Maye was wanted for a string of identity thefts, but the IRS couldn't positively identify him. But after he passed a thumb-drive of stolen data to an IRS informant, investigators were able to pull his name off the drive's metadata. They used that to find his Instagram profile, and found a food-porn photo he'd taken at the Morton's steakhouse where he'd dined with the informant. Busted.
"IRS Agent Louis Babino then headed to Google and located Maye’s Instagram page, which contained a profile photo of Maye. When shown the profile photo, the CW confirmed that Maye (seen at right) was the man with whom he dined at Morton’s."
Well, sure, Agent Babino, but how can you be really sure this was your guy?
"A further review of Maye’s Instagram page, Babino noted, revealed “a photo of a steak and macaroni and cheese meal containing the caption ‘Morton’s.’” The image--uploaded on January 7 at 11:24 PM--“appears to coincide” with the CW’s meeting at Morton’s, added Babino."
Yup, this guy food-porned his way into being arrested. The Instagram photo is reportedly being entered into evidence in the case, so one hopes the juicy steak and the creamy mac and cheese was really, really worth all the trouble Maye is now in. Once again, if you're a criminal, online narcicism is probably something you'd be best to avoid.
Leo Kent of Humans Invent writes about a new free service in Sweden that uses Instagram to find out how to make Asian food.
Ask CT Food is a new service people can use through Instagram to find out the ingredients and methods of cooking Asian food. If you’re at a restaurant and want to know how to make the Sushi that you’re about to eat, you can take a photo of the dish and CT Food will tell you how. We will then see the picture and, based on what the question is, reply as quickly as possible Luong Lu, who, along with co-creative Farnaz Sajadi and web developer Nikola Romcevic, created this concept for CT Food, says, “It is a very personal, almost 24/7 customer service right in your pocket. Everytime you have a question about an Asian dish at a restaurant you just snap a picture and then put in our username @askctfood. We will then see the picture and, based on what the question is, reply as quickly as possible.”
Well hey now. From the Instagram blog:
The concerns we heard about from you the most focused on advertising, and what our changes might mean for you and your photos. There was confusion and real concern about what our possible advertising products could look like and how they would work.
Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010. You can see the updated terms here.
Read the full statement here. I think that's pretty great news. I really enjoy using instagram, and my colleagues and I have had a lot of fun with our new Boing Boing instagram feed—I feel better about remaining a user now. But I don't know. Fool me once...
All that said, the new Flickr mobile app is pretty sweet. Personally, I think I'll straddle both for a while. And you?
"Legal documents are easy to misinterpret. So I’d like to address specific concerns we’ve heard from everyone."
Instagram's new legalese pisses off users The Verge on Instagram-gate: "they can't sell your photos," but they ... HOWTO automatically license your Instagram pics as Creative ... The Instagram buyout: charts! Why Flickr didn't create Instagram Read the rest
Philip Neustrom has created Set your Instagram free!, a simple way to add Creative Commons licenses to your Instagram photos (something the service doesn't support natively, meaning that technically anyone who reposts your Instagrams risks a lawsuit). Wired has a good writeup by Nathan Hurst:
“What makes Flickr’s Creative Commons licensing so great is that it’s structured: You can search through their photos and just find ones that are CC-licensed and even drill down by tag, etc.,” says Neustrom. “So I wanted to provide something with the same level of structure.”
Users sign in with their Instagram accounts, choose the CC license they wish to use, and every photo they Instagram for the next three months (Neustrom included a re-up requirement so that users wouldn’t forget they’re sharing) will be CC-licensed. Take note, though: There’s no way to selectively license your Instagram photos — they’ll all appear on I Am CC. Whether you want them licensed in the first place is up to you, but chances are, they’re not making your any money anyway.
I really enjoyed Paul Ford's New York Magazine story on the Facebook/Instagram acquisition. By building his analysis on the way that the "user experience" focus is different in different parts of Facebook, and within Instagram, Ford captures something that's been missing from the coverage, a way of looking at the acquisition that puts a name to the free-floating anxiety that many Instagram fans have felt. Plus, he uses the phrase "Facebook is like an NYPD police van crashing into an IKEA, forever." Zing!
Read the rest
Remember what the iPod was to Apple? That’s how Instagram might look to Facebook: an artfully designed product that does one thing perfectly. Sure, you might say, but Instagram doesn’t have any revenue. Have you ever run an ad on Facebook? The ad manager is a revelation — as perfectly organized and tidy as the rest of Facebook is sprawling and messy. Spend $50 and try to sell something — there it is, UX at its most organized and majestic, a key to all of the other products at once.
To some users, this looks like a sellout. And that’s because it is. You might think the people crabbing about how Instagram is going to suck now are just being naïve, but I don’t think that’s true. Small product companies put forth that the user is a sacred being, and that community is all-important. That the money to pay for the service comes from venture capital, which seeks a specific return on investment over a period of time, is between the company and the venture capitalists; the relationship between the user and the product is holy, or is supposed to be...