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Instagram Adds Option to Embed Photos and Videos on Desktop

Good news, Instagram users. Instagram now allows users to embed photos and videos anywhere. The embed code is available for every public Instagram photo or video.

It was just a month back when Instagram announced Instagram videos. And now, here is an option to embed photos and videos just like Twitter’s Vine.

The embed code is available only on the Desktop version. When you see any photo or video, you’ll be shown a new share button next to the comments section. Clicking on that button will show the embed code. Copy that code and you can paste it on your blogs, forums and any other place!

Instagram-Embed

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to embed these photos or videos on Twitter. Months back Instagram removed support for Twitter Cards and it’ll be so forever considering the fact that Twitter and Facebook are rivals.

Also, it’s best to note that you won’t be able to embed private photos.

Embedded photos and videos show the username at the top left and Instagram logo at the top right. Clicking on the name takes to the user’s Instagram page while clickfing on the logo takes to the photo or video’s page.

The number of Likes and Comments are also shown.

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InstaMessage Helps you to Chat Privately with Instagram Users

InstaMessage is a free app for the Android devices that helps you to chat privately with other Instagrammers. The app is available on iOS as well as the Android platform. This app is simple and is really easy to use. It requires no registration. It uses your Instagram login credentials to work.

Once you download the app and install, you’ll be asked to set a cover photo, update your status and set other personal information. The app has four sections shown at the bottom : Explore, Chats, Friends and Profile.

InstaMessage-first-page

It works similar to the other IMs like WhatsApp. To chat with other Instagrammers, you’ll have make sure that they too have InstaMessage installed on their device.

Interesting Features in InstaMessage

  • The app lets you search for any Instagram user easily. You can also Follow the Instagram users right within the app. You can also check their photos right inside this app.
  • If the Instagram user is using InstaMessage, there will be a Heart symbol shown. Once clicked, it’ll notify that user of your interest in him/her.

InstaMessage-like

  • It uses your phone’s GPS technology to search for Nearby Instagram users. The nearby users are shown in the Explore section.
  • You can also check for the most Popular InstaMessage users and start a chat with them straight away.

InstaMessage-explore

  • The Friends tab shows the list of InstaMessage contacts.
  • The tab also shows the list of Instagram users not using this app.
  • You can invite Instagram users to InstaMessage by using the Invite option available.

InstaMessage-invite-2

  • There is an option to promote yourself in the Profile section. Hit the Promote Me button to post a photo on Instagram asking users to chat with you.
  • The app supports Push Notifications too. The app alerts you of New Likes and New Messages.
  • You can also Block Users.

Feature(s) Missing in InstaMessage

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  • The app lacks an option to see whether a particular message is delivered or read.
  • There is no option to Like and Comment on the Instagram photos.

The app works cross platform too. You can use an Android to chat with a friend using an iOS. It requires Android 2.2 and up. It requires iOS 4.3 and later. It works well with your iPhone 3GS and above, and also with iPod Touch 3rd generation and above.

What’s your thought on this app? Do share with us.

Link: InstaMessage for Android | InstaMessage for iOS

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Facebook brings Video on Instagram to counter Vine

Facebook has today released a Instagram Video, a new feature that allows users to create fifteen second videos. There are 13 filters that can be applied to the video before publishing it. This move is targeted at Vine which last year was acquired by Twitter.

Instagram Video

Vine allows users something similar and has become very popular for Twitter users. Instagram for video has some very good features in-built like video steady-cam that allows videos to look better even when taken from a mobile phone.

When Instagram was bought by Facebook, they first hit back with removing Twitter cards on Instagram. This stopped users from seeing a preview of Instagram images shared on Twitter. Twitter hit back by having their own image filters built into their mobile apps. The a popular service called Vine which allowed 6 second video uploads was acquired by Twitter and its growth has been exponential even though it was initially only on the iOS platform.

Overall, I still find these videos are too much style over substance. But considering its popularity, it would be interesting to see if Google has similar plans with YouTube.

Try out Instagram Video by updating the app on your phone. Or you can download them from the links below. Do drop in your comment.

Link: Instagram 4.0 Android | iPhone

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Instagram Effect: Facebook Modifies App Data Reporting

Last month, Instagram saw a massive drop of over 24% in daily active users. This drop was surprising for a couple of things. First it was because Instagram was growing like never before with 100 million users. Second reason for the surprise was that it was the holiday season, that is when people share photos of family, friends, gatherings and holidays.

The data for Instagram was actually based on the data provided by Facebook. The reason Instagram could have lost some of it’s user is the privacy policy being updated. The new policy was Instagram giving themselves the permission to use photos taken by users. This did start a massive backlash against Instagram, because of which they rolled-back the new privacy policy changes.

Facebook Modifies App Data to Avoid Future Embarrassments

Facebook_logo.pngFacebook first stopped reporting public app data for Instagram. They have stopped third parties from tracking Instagram usage. Now they have announced changes to its app data metrics itself in a blog post.

Now Facebook reports ranking of the apps instead of actually traffic. This is actually more in-line with how say Google Play shows app downloads but showing only approximate downloads and not actually app downloads.

Is Instagram ailing?

instagramI am not sure if Instagram is ailing or users are losing interest. My experience is showing that I tend to see a lot less Instagram photos in my Twitter and Facebook feed.

Ofcourse that is not hard scientific data but it does suggest that people are not as enamored by the service as they were before they became a part of Facebook.

Are you using Instagram as much as before? Do let us know in your comments.

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Instagram Daily Active Users Nosedive by 24%

instagramInstagram has seen a massive drop in daily active users. It had topped up at 16.4 million daily active users around two weeks ago but that number is down to 12.4 million daily users. According to AppData and Instagram has lost over 3.5 million users over the past 7 days as far as daily active users are concerned.

Instagram has seen amazing success in the past year or so. Its big moment was when Facebook shelled out a cool billion dollars to acquire it. Instagram was soon working closely with Facebook. Instagram on 17th December,  updated its privacy policy. It basically gave itself the permission to use user photos for commercial usage.

That started a blacklash from users and it was not surprising that daily active users actually dropped by 24%. Instagram rolled back the new privacy policy update to stop the criticism but it has probably lost the ‘trust’ factor.

Why Instagram looks in trouble?

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Instgram is not really a photo app as much as it is a social app. That means during Christmas week and holiday season over the past week, it should have seen record user activity. It ideally should have seen record user activity and not a drastic loss of active users.

Instagram has also actually become less social but turning off Twitter cards which allowed Twitter feeds to display photos in the stream itself without requiring people to visit the Instagram website. Twitter hit back with its own filters for photos. Facebook itself has sort of canibalized Instagram features in their own photo app for iOS. I won’t be surprised in thinking that the best days of Instagram are behind it.

What are your views? Do drop in your comments.

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Twitter Introduces Photo Filter Feature: Hits Back at Instagram

Twitter has introduced a new feature for iPhone and Android users. It’s latest update will allow users to post photos with built in filters. The new feature has initially 8 photo filters out of which anyone can be chosen. The photos also can be viewed in a grid system.

Essentially, Twitter is mimicking the features of Instagram. Instagram is owned by Facebook now and that makes this a lot more interesting.

Twitter introduces Instagram-like filters on Android and iPhone apps

Instagram Vs Twitter

Instagram has a similar service but in the past week it toyed with the idea of removing support for Twitter cards on its website. Finally they did end up removing Twitter cards completely. Twitter cards are used basically to allow users to check photos or snippets of a webpage, inside the Twitter stream and not requiring users to visit another page.

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Instagram probably took this step to integrate itself more closely with Facebook. This could be mainly to ensure that Instagram also could bring in more advertising revenues. Instagram at the moment of all its fame, is still is not really monetized.

Check out Twitter’s the video intro of photo filters:

I can’t help but thinking that at the end both Twitter and Instagram are losing out and short-changing users. Instagram is actually at some stage giving up relevance on Twitter, while Twitter might end up not using the social juice from Instagram’s popularity. Users in the meanwhile will just have to make do with more restrictions and a less open system, while Twitter and Facebook keep marking out their territory.

What are your views on Twitter’s new photo filter feature? Do drop in your comments.

(via Twitter Blog)

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Facebook Introduces Instagram-Like Photo Filter on iOS App

Facebook rolled out an updated yesterday to its iOS app. The updated app has a lot of features like sharing multiple photos, gifts and chat buddy list. The new update comes on the heels of Twitter planning to roll out a feature that allows sharing photos with filters.

Though apps allowing users to add filters on photos have been around for a long time, Instagram took it to a new level but becoming a social network.

It was finally purchased by Facebook at a very high price of almost a US $ 1 Billion. The high price tag was possibly because Twitter and Google might have been interested in getting something like Instagram.

What happens to Instagram?

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Facebook itself is not really winning on the mobile platform unlike Instagram. So it seems doubtful that Facebook will abandon Instagram but it does seem to be undermining it by copying the same filter features at the moment.

These changes are only for iOS users in the US, but these changes are expected outside the US and on other platforms soon. Facebook has previously released a native app for iOS users and is expected to soon release one for Android phones.

(via TechCrunch)

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Online Tool to Create Facebook Cover Image with Instagram Photos

Instagram is a great photo app, which allows users to take photos from their smartphones and stylize them. On Facebook profiles, a large interesting image can occupy the top of the profile page. Such images are called cover photos.

InstaCover is an online tool that mashes the two together. It allows users to use publicly shared Instagram photos to create a collage for their Facebook cover image.

Instagram photos for Facebook Cover

InstaCover Features

Users will need to authorize their Facebook account for the app to work. This will authorize it to create and store the Facebook cover photos in an album.

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Photos from Instagram can be looked up randomly or by simply with the use of a Instagram user ID. This means we can create a cover image with any publicly shared photos.

Why did’nt Facebook think of this?

When I used InstaCover, I found the idea quite neat. Instagram photos are usually full of emotional sentiment and having a collage of them as your Facebook cover seems to make sense.

As Facebook has acquired Instagram at a hefty price tag of $1 billion, I was wondering why the company is not introducing interesting ways to integrate Facebook and Instagram like for instance InstaCover.

Do try out InstaCover and drop in your comments.

Link: InstaCover

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Backup your Instagram Photos to Your Computer

Instagram has been a hot topic over the last couple of weeks. First added a lot more fans by becoming available on Android. That part was followed up by Facebook acquiring Instagram.

Not all fans of Instagram are happy about Facebook acquiring the company as they fear that Facebook will kill Instagrams independence and turn it into just a feature.

There are a couple of quick ways to backup your Instagram photos on your computer.

#1. Instaport

Visit Instaport.me and use your Instagram login credentials to authorize the app. Once we are done with the authorization the site shows a page which allows us to download photos in a .zip file.

The advanced options allow users to download all your photos, photos from a specific time frame and even all the photos you liked from other users. It also allows downloading upto 100 Instagram photos from a particular tag.

Link: Instaport

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#2. Instagram to Dropbox

My favourite backup application is Dropbox. It works great with other websites and I use it to backup my Facebook photos automatically on my computer.

I like using this iftttt recipe that automatically backups my Instagram photos to my Dropbox account.

Link: Instagram to Dropbox

I personally like using the second option because it works automatically and behind the scenes but for more features using Instaport is great too.

Do drop in your comments.

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What is so special about Instagram for Facebook to shell out $1 Billion?

The popular photo app, Instagram was bought for a cool $1 Billion by Facebook. Instagram is a popular service and solely exists on mobile phones. It has no revenue model but has a growing legion of users.

Facebook, which has recently filed for an IPO and hence is flush with cash and Instagram which was a rage with iPhone users has recently made the app available for Android.

The fact that Facebook is buying a company that makes no money for a cool billion dollars is going to start floating rumors that yet another dotcom bubble is around the corner.

Whats so special about Instagram?

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Instagram is a big social success but on a platform on which no one has really suceeded. Instagram is a service that solely works on mobile phones. It allows people to skim through various filters and share these photos on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

It is gaining a lot of popularity with younger audiences who usually are more comfortable sharing photos from their phones than a slightly older demographic.

Instagram is very personal, as in the photos shared on it are taken by people on their personal mobile phones. So Instagram users end up taking photos of places they visit or see rather than sharing some random online photo.

You cannot have a online social experience without photos being shared among your friends.  Facebook understands that and if Instagram was part of Google+ or Twitter, it would have lost out on a big opportunity. Photos also ensure that people will not quit a service. It is like an insurance policy against your users getting tempted to move to another social platform.

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What part did Google have to play in this?

There are some interesting things happening with Google over the past few months. Google has some incredibly successful products like Search, Android, YouTube, Gmail and Chrome. These products until only a few months ago seemed to be unrelated and independent.

But recently it has integrated so many of its services like Chrome app for Android, a renamed Android Market (Google Play) selling movies and books, Google+ spreading its tentacles into every Google product and search becoming more social. Also with a successful mobile OS in Android, it will have tremendous clout in a future, where more people will go online from their phones rather than a computer.

Facebook has now become defensive because to ensure a strong growth rate and also make sure Google does not take away its users. Acquiring Instagram was a wise move as it might block Instagram from Google+. Facebook will also suddenly have a lot of expertise at hand on how to build and attract a mobile only audience. That said, maybe a billion dollars was a bit too much. 🙂

What are your views on Facebook acquiring Instagram? Will it fuel great things for Facebook or will it fizzle like so many acquisitions? Do drop in your comments.