Entries in Instagram (11)


After User Uproar, Instagram Apologizes and Reverts to Old Terms of Service

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Instagram has snapped to it.

Earlier this week, after users lashed out against Instagram's updated terms of service, which implied the company might sell user photos and place them in ads, Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, promised to revise the terms. On Thursday, he announced that not only is he sorry for the confusion, but the company will keep the previous wording.

"It became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities -- to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right," Systrom wrote on Instagram's blog Thursday night. "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."

The clause users were most concerned with was one that implied Instagram would allow users' photos to appear or be displayed in advertisements. Systrom cleared up that concern.

"I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don't own your photos -- you do," he said.

After hearing of the new terms, many users were up in arms and said they planned to quit the service -- including a few celebrity users. Even after Systrom's original response, National Geographic and other large brands said they would reevaluate their use of the service.

"Instagram needs to do some serious damage control to repair what was a pristine, 'for the users' brand," Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told ABC News.

Regardless, Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion, will begin to start advertising. It just might do it in some different ways.

"Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work," Systrom said.

"Instagram, like all mobile properties, needs to drive revenue and they will turn to advertising," Moorhead said. "This will turn away some users at first but, like Facebook and Twitter, users will adjust and not flee en mass."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Instagram Responds to Backlash, Says It Won't Sell User Photos

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Instagram has heard the mass outrage (including the celebrities') in response to its new terms of service, and says it will clear things up.

After confusion over its new Terms of Service, which implied Instagram might sell photos to advertisers, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom responded Tuesday afternoon in a blog post. Systrom said that he and the company are "listening" and that they plan to "modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos."

The part that most users will be happy to hear? "It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

He also said he wants to clear up the confusion about Instagram's intent to put anyone's photos in ads. "The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we're going to remove the language that raised the question."

Systrom does say advertising will make its way to Instagram's platform and that the company would like to "experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram." Instagram was purchased by Facebook in April for $1 billion; the company has not been profitable.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Flickr App for iPhone Goes After Instagram

Yahoo(NEW YORK) -- Eighty-five million photo sharing users just got some new tools.

On Wednesday, Yahoo released an update for its Flickr iPhone and iOS apps with several new features, including new ways to find and view photos, apply filters to photos, improved sharing capability and camera editing tools.

Markus Spiering, Head of Product for Flickr, says the update aims to provide an entire photo solution.

"The goal was to build something that is beautiful and easy to use," he says.

The app allows users to share images via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email, as well as add data such as titles, captions and locations.  One can tap on an icon to see information from an image such as the shutter speed and camera used to take it.  The app provides some new tools to let you modify your image -- you can adjust the focus or crop and resize it, for example, or choose from 16 new camera filters.

From an iPhone, one can tap the "Contacts" tab to see photos uploaded by friends and connections, or tap the "Groups" tab to see images arranged in categories, such as "Food and Art."

"We put photos first," says Spiering, whose team spent the last several months developing the update.  "We want the user to enjoy and experience photos in the highest quality possible."

For example, tilt the iPhone to one side and the app displays a full-screen version of the image you are looking at.  To maintain the best possible quality, the app works in the background to load a hi-resolution version of the photo.

Flickr's app update and photo filter additions come on the heels of Twitter and Instagram's battle.  Instagram, which has become the hot new photo sharing service and is now owned by Facebook, stopped allowing photos to appear embedded in tweets.  A day later, Twitter released new iPhone and Android apps that allow users to apply filters to their photos and make small edits right from the Twitter app.

For now, the update is available for iOS only.  The iPhone, according to Spiering, is the most popular camera for Flickr users, so it made sense to develop the update for iOS users first.  Yahoo, which bought Flickr in 2005, also released updates for its Yahoo Mail apps on Tuesday.

Spiering says Flickr wants to make the updated version available across all platforms in the near future.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Take That, Instagram: Twitter Adds Own Photo Filters

Twitter(NEW YORK) -- The filtered photo war is on.

Instagram announced Sunday that it was no longer supporting embedded photos on Twitter, but Twitter isn’t sitting still when it comes to photo sharing.

On Monday evening Twitter’s updated its Android and iPhone apps with features that allow you to add filters to photos directly from the app. No need to do it through Instagram anymore.

There are eight filters to choose from -- including, Warm, Cool, Vintage, Happy, and Cinematic -- as well as cropping and brightening functions. The photo filters, using technology made by Aviary -- not Twitter -- will be added to the Twitter app when you download the update.

You can easily see your photos with the filters in a grid, which makes it easier to decide which filter you’d like to use. Instagram still offers a more robust set of features, though, especially with its blurring tool.

Coincidentally, Instagram also released an update for its iOS app Sunday, which adds the ability to crop and scale photos.

Instagram’s CEO said that the decision to drop Twitter embedding support was about sending people to Instagram’s own site -- but it so happens that Facebook acquired Instagram in April. “This is likely the result of the Facebook acquisition, as it makes little sense for Facebook to send Instagram pictures to Twitter,” Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner Inc., told ABC News earlier Monday.

Still, it is easy to see why Twitter has added the functionality to its own app. Instagram has over 100 million users and on Thanksgiving alone over 10 million photos were uploaded.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Instagram CEO: Sandy Our Most Documented Event Ever

Andres Betancur/ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The smartphone photo sharing app Instagram was an instant hit when it debuted in 2010. Now, two years later, the app has quickly become the most popular way that phone users share pictures, and may soon become the most popular means to share photos in any way.

When superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast last week, many people reached for their phones to document the aftermath. Most of them, it seems, used Instagram to snap the photo.

“Sandy was a really interesting event for us,” Systrom said at the Nov. 5 GigaOM conference in San Francisco. “Sandy was the single largest event captured on Instagram — and the largest event captured on cellphones ever.”

According to Systrom, nearly one million Instagram photos were uploaded with the hashtag #Sandy.

That means Instagram is much more than just a way to show off to your friends. Users, Systrom says, are now updating their accounts to document important events like Sandy in what amounts to participation in the event. Instead of passive documentation, Instagram users are communicating with photos and making their Instagram experience more than just about consumption.

That conversation with photos is also about to get even easier, as the smartphone-based app expands onto the Web. The company, which was purchased by Facebook in the spring of 2012 for nearly $1 billion, is rolling out Instagram profiles, complete with user bios and photo streams of recent uploads.

According to a post on the Instagram blog, Web profiles will be rolled out “over the next few days” in a move that is sure to open the platform up to even more users.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dell CEO’s Kid Overshares on Social Media

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The twitter account for Alexa Dell, daughter of Dell founder Michael Dell, has been deactivated following security concerns prompted by her detailed account of the family’s whereabouts.

The security of the CEO, who expects to spend $2.7 million in 2012 to keep his family safe, came under question after a photo of Zachary Dell was posted by his sister Alexa on the photo-sharing app Instagram, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The teenager shared a photo of Zachary devouring cuisine in a private plane on a trip to Fiji.  But, that’s not all, the magazine reported.  Like millions of others who use social network sites, she would often-times detail the time, date and location of many events attended by the family, including trips to New York City and a high school graduation dinner, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The photo has since been removed.

After Alexa posted the photo to Instagram, it eventually popped up on the website Rich Kids of Instagram, a tumblr account dedicated to showing the way people reveal their wealth on social media.

Since many users have their Facebook account or Twitter accounts connected to the application -- recently acquired by Facebook for $1 billion -- it’s often easy to track additional social media information from users.  A Twitter account and Google+ account purported to be used by Alexa has since been taken down.

Michael Dell is a self-made billionaire.  At 19 years old, Dell launched from his dorm room at the University of Texas the hardware company that would reach a $20 billion market cap.  The father of four has a net worth of $15.9 billion, according to Forbes.

“We don’t comment on Mr. Dell’s or his family’s personal activities,” a spokesperson for Dell told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Storm Blamed for Instagram, Netflix, and Foursquare Outages

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you had some trouble over the weekend uploading a photo to Instagram, checking in on Foursquare, watching a movie on Netflix, pinning something to your Pinterest board, or posting to Reddit, you’re not alone.

Amazon’s Web Services, which powers many sites and Cloud services, was taken out by the same lighting storms that caused power outages across the country. Amazon’s main server facility in Northern Virginia was hit hard by the storm, which left over 3 million people on the East Coast without power.

The outages started around 9 p.m. ET on Friday and lasted close to 12 hours for some of the services. Instagram and Netflix informed users via Twitter, however, many still were looking for answers. Instagram became one of the highest searched terms on Google on Saturday. Most services were up and running by Saturday afternoon.

This is the second time Amazon’s Web Services went down this month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Facebook Camera: New Camera App for iPhone, iPod Touch

Facebook(NEW YORK) -- The world might be focused on the issues surrounding Facebook’s stock price and Mark Zuckerberg’s relationship with investors, but the social media giant is trying to move ahead with business as usual. And today’s business? The announcement of a brand new Facebook app: Facebook Camera.

Two months after announcing its $1 billion dollar purchase of the photo-sharing app Instagram, Facebook is rolling out an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that is entirely focused on the camera. It makes it easier for you to interact with your Facebook photos and upload your photos from your phone.

You can view your photos and your friends’ photos when you open the app and you can easily share photos you have taken on your phone. You can also “crop, rotate, and add filters to any picture in your camera roll,” Facebook’s Dirk Stoop said in a Facebook blog post.

Instagram, which is a standalone app for the iPhone and Android phones, has very similar features. While Facebook did announce its purchase of Instagram, the deal hasn’t actually closed yet.

The free app will be available in the App Store later Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Instagram Users Alarmed by Facebook Purchase

Justin Sullivan/G​etty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- When 12-year-old Catherine Moorhead found out about Facebook's acquisition of Instagram she immediately texted her dad. "It ruins the purpose of Instagram! OMGosh!!!!" she typed on her iPhone.

Moorhead might be young, but she wasn't the only one typing her disapproval and sharing it with the world.

After the initial announcement on Monday of Facebook's plans to spend $1 billion on the photo-sharing site, you couldn't avoid the negative reaction on Twitter and Facebook, and even Instagram itself.

Photos of Dr. Evil were shared on the site and tons tweeted about their plans to leave Instagram. You can see a selection of the disapproving tweets on Buzzfeed and on ABC News' Facebook page.

"My whole 6th grade class is on Instagram," Moorhead told ABC News. "I think they might change it to be more like Facebook. If Facebook owns it, more people will be on it and I don't want creepy people following the kids who are on Instagram."

Some might think those child-like fears are a little extreme, but the reaction is just as strong from people five to 10 years Moorhead's senior.

"I personally feel like the North Korean army just occupied my hometown," George Ko, 18, said. "Instagram introduced many people to photography and new communities around special themes like #doorways. Apps like #hipstaroll developed in this sphere of not being forced to expose ones personal life, but one's artistry to the world. Facebook, on the other hand, is a network that was built to expose explicitly personal stuff."

Ko is joined by others on the Internet with the same pessimistic feelings, but there are those who are excited about the acquisition and the possibilities of what it could mean for both companies.

"Bigger team, bigger product. I'm just saying. And being optimistic," Jacob Alexander tweeted. "I think it's great as long as they keep it separate," Rolando Calderón expressed.

But the discontent was heard over it all, and the Facebook distrust seemed to drown out the rest of the choir.

A number of technology blogs provided tips on how to save and delete Instagram photos from the service in fear that Facebook would make them more visible under its different privacy policy.

"Instagram had a good privacy policy, but what is interesting is that Instagram (and many others) don't have any details in the privacy policy about what would happen during an acquisition," Anthony Mullen, a senior analyst at Forrester said. "Legacy data pre-Facebook will still be under the original privacy policy, but new content will be subject to a revised approach. Users, when faced with a disconnect of features across their pre and post FB Instagram photos, will likely acquiesce to having them aggregated under the new privacy policy."

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg made it clear in his announcement post that Facebook was planning to leave Instagram independent and keep the brand and app alive. However, that doesn't mean users don't see Facebook, which was once the small start-up, as the big bad corporate entity now.

"I think there's always skepticism when a large, profitable company takes over a smaller, not-yet-monetized start-up. Facebook is well-known for selling advertising and supporting marketer participation on its platform," Melissa Parrish of Forrester explained.

"Up to this point, Instagram has been 100 percent about the functionality and the users. There is no advertising on Instagram at all. Instagram users feel understandably protective of the service that has been simple and fun to use, and hasn't felt intrusive from a privacy or advertising perspective," she added.

But Mullen says the Instagram users have to face the reality. "Facebook buying Instagram for users is akin to having their landlord changed without any notification. It's jarring but something they have to accept – or move out. "

While users like Moorhead might be upset, she says she will go where her friends are. And that's precisely why Facebook paid $1 billion for the emotion-provoking, photo-centric start-up.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Facebook Buys Photo-Sharing Company Instagram

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook has agreed to acquire the popular online photo sharing company Instagram, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday.

Zuckerberg did not disclose the purchase amount, but according to reports Facebook paid $1 billion.

“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”

While Facebook is expected to integrate Instagram more closely with its web and app offerings, Zuckerberg also says that it will build and grow the Instagram app independently. “Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”

Instagram, which was released for Android smartphones just last week, allows users to apply filters to images and then share them with others on the network and other social networks, including Twitter. Facebook stressed that it wouldn’t remove the feature that allows for sharing across other social networks.

The acquisition is Facebook’s biggest yet, but Zuckerberg says these types of deals won’t be frequent. “We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all,” he added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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