Life in LoFi: iPhoneography » Instagram http://lifeinlofi.com iPhone Photo / Mobile Photography News, Showcases, Reviews Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:51:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Goodbye Insta Apps. Instagram Puts the Hammer Down. http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/21/goodbye-insta-apps-instagram-puts-the-hammer-down/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/21/goodbye-insta-apps-instagram-puts-the-hammer-down/#comments Wed, 21 Aug 2013 22:29:36 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25164 Instagram has recently updated its brand guidelines. Developers of many third-party Instagram support apps can no longer use "Insta" or "Gram" in the names if they wish to continue using the APIs and linking to the mammoth social network.

"Goodbye Insta Apps. Instagram Puts the Hammer Down.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Statigram, screen, Instagram

Goodbye InstaPlace. Goodbye Statigram. The apps and services may survive, but will need a new name at the very least. Instagram has had a change of mind and recently updated its brand guidelines. It has notified developers of many third-party Instagram support apps that they can no longer use “Insta” or “Gram” in the names if they wish to continue using the APIs and linking to the mammoth social network.

Under the new recently updated Instagram brand guidelines, developers may not:

  • Use “Instagram,” “IG”, “Insta” or “Gram” in their app name
  • Use the Camera Logos, or the Instagram name or logo, in their app icon
  • Use the Instagram stylized font in their product or marketing materials

TechCrunch has an excellent post on this story here.

Emails have already been sent to developers requesting changes to the offending apps “within a reasonable period.” TechCrunch reposted part of this notice sent to Luxogram:

“We appreciate your interest in developing products that help people share with Instagram. While we encourage developers to build great apps with Instagram, we cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or endorsed or sponsored by us.

“As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its well-known trademarks is very important to Instagram. For example, it has always been against our guidelines to use a name that sounds or looks like “Instagram” or copies the look and feel of our application. Similarly, as we have clarified in the new guidelines, use of “INSTA” and “GRAM” for an application that works with Instagram is harmful to the Instagram brand. It is important that you develop your own distinctive branding for your applications, and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specifically authorized under our policies.”

The Instagram name and other intellectual property have always been protected by trademark, while the more generic phrases “Insta” and “Gram” have not. In fact, at one point, their use was actually encouraged by Instagram. Check it out. Down at the bottom: “While you cannot use the word “Instagram” or “IG” in your product’s name, it’s ok to use one (but not both) of the following: “Insta” or “gram”.”

Instagram has made these changes in an effort to protect their brand and their trademarks. Trademark law is tricky and not always predictable. I’m not an attorney, but encourage any readers who are to chime in down below in the comments. If this were ever challenged in court, it would be interesting to see which precedents were raised. For instance, Kodak used the trademarked phrase “Instamatic” for years. In fact, when Instagram was first released, my first thoughts were “Oh, wow, another app that’s based on an old plastic camera that isn’t a Holga.” 21st century brand confusion.

In the end, this may be less about trademark law and more about Facebook Instagram telling developers “If you want to play in our sandbox, these are now the rules.” The deep pockets of Instagram make an effective deterrent for the many smaller developers that this effects the most. Granted, many of the apps that this effects are pretty crappy and I won’t miss them anyway. If I were Instagram, I wouldn’t want any potential brand confusion or perception of endorsement with any of those. I suppose legally, in lieu of a licensing arrangement, there needs to be a scorched earth approach.

Useful Instagram add-on sites like Statigram, Webstagram, Instagrafic, InstaDesk and many others will have to rebrand or shut down. InstaPlace, InstaComenter, InstaSync, Instaplus — many of the Instagram front-end apps will need to rebrand, make other changes, or simply remove the very handy ability to share directly to Instagram from the app.

No word on whether these notifications have gone out to developers of physical products that base their business on Instagram. Rebranding an app is a pain, but fairly inexpensive. Rebranding a physical product involves a lot more expense for new packaging, new dies for manufacturing — essentially many of the physical start-up costs and unless the product is phenomenally successful and selling off the shelves (most aren’t), simply not worth the time and cost.

According to the new guidelines, developers will be able to use the convention “[Your App Name] for Instagram” to indicate that the product is integrated with Instagram. Insta apps won’t need to disappear. We’ll just need a bigger screen for the longer app names.

Back in the day when Instagram was iOS only and lean and hungry and only had a few million users, Insta apps — even crappy ones — were welcome and the free word of mouth helped to grow the network. Now that Instagram is a social phenomenon, it seems to be flexing its muscle to start reigning in and controlling the community that helped build it in the first place.

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"Goodbye Insta Apps. Instagram Puts the Hammer Down.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Combo Apps: The Videogram Hype Direction, by Tina Rice http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/17/combo-apps-the-videogram-hype-direction-by-tina-rice/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/17/combo-apps-the-videogram-hype-direction-by-tina-rice/#comments Sat, 17 Aug 2013 21:25:19 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=25125 With the recent introduction of short video clips on Instagram, Combo Apps blogger Tina Rice has written a great post covering many iPhone videography apps that we don't cover here that's worth a look.

"Combo Apps: The Videogram Hype Direction, by Tina Rice." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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iphone video, Instagram, Vine, Tina Rice

Combo Apps blogger Tina Rice normally finds, tests, and mixes up iPhoneography effects, paint and other apps. With the recent introduction of short video clips on Instagram, Tina has written a great post covering many iPhone videography apps that we don’t cover here that’s worth a look.

Recent Instagram updates no longer restrict you to shooting video in-app. You can now import video from your camera roll and trim it down to Instagram’s 15 seconds. Of course, if you’ve been sharing video snippets on Vine, that service has had this capability for some time.

While not going into great detail about most of the apps, Tina’s post provides a good starting point for you to add to your iPhone videography toolbox. Most of these apps will let you create videos of any length, limited by available memory on your device. They’ll let you edit and add filters and effects right on your device.

I have to admit. Watching random Vine videos is mind-numbingly interesting. Vpeeker.com shows an endless stream of recently posted Vine videos and is a great timesuck.

A little bit of creative editing and filtering will help your videos stand out from 6-15 seconds of puppy vids. There are some very creative mini-motion pictures being created. Here’s one of my faves. It’s not filtered, but it’s shot and edited extremely well.

Tina Rice writes:

I was asked to look, research and come up with a detailed list of video apps. This is Combo Apps in motion finding the best video combo apps out on the market. When I went searching for video apps I found out something about my app collection. That it’s really sad when I found a lot of the video apps in my archive of app hoarding in the last few years. There were a lot of video apps some for free and some I paid for thinking they were camera apps but turned out to be video apps instead. The top video is called The Koi Pond and was done with Super 8 video app. It was a FREE app at the time because of the movie “Super 8.” I can’t load this video on Instagram because it’s 19 seconds long and you can only load 15 second videos. When you try to load a video longer than 15 second, Instagram will crash.

Recent Instagram updates have been determined to crash lately. The latest update seems to have helped.

Read the rest of Tina’s post “Combo Apps/The Videogram Hype Direction” for here complete list over on Combo Apps blog.

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"Combo Apps: The Videogram Hype Direction, by Tina Rice." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram 4.1 Update Out Now! Import Video and Auto-Straighten Photos! http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/07/instagram-4-1-update-import-video-and-auto-straighten-photos/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/08/07/instagram-4-1-update-import-video-and-auto-straighten-photos/#comments Thu, 08 Aug 2013 00:58:37 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=24762 Instagram was updated today. You can now import videos from your camera roll. Plus, Instagram can now instantly and automatically straighten your photos when you take them using the Instagram app.

"Instagram 4.1 Update Out Now! Import Video and Auto-Straighten Photos!." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram, 4.1, updated, import video, auto-straighten

Instagram’s new Auto-Straighten

The number one photo app in the history of ever, Instagram, was updated today. Two new features, really big update. You can now import videos from your camera roll. The second new feature is really more awesome. You can now instantly and automatically straighten your photos when you take or import them using the Instagram app.

If you have the app, you’re going to download the update anyway. But want to find out how it works? Keep reading.

Instagram Video import

Instagram, for iPhoneInstagram can now import any video from your camera roll. No matter how long the source video, the app will trim it down to its maximum 15 second length. For longer clips, it’ll let you scrub it to find your starting point.

The app has still no video editing feature. That’s okay because you’re probably going to want to edit and process in other video apps anyway. This clears the way for creative Instagrammers to create some very interesting 15 seconds cinemas.

Instagram, 4.1, updated, import video

Instagram 4.1 video import and trim

Auto-Straighten

Instagram’s new auto straighten feature is pretty slick! If you shoot or import with the Instagram app itself, the app presents the option to auto straighten and fine tune. Basically, Instagram analyzes your image, tries to find a line that it thinks is parallel to the horizon, and straightens the image to that. There’s also a well-done, responsive, BIG manual adjustment dial. The app guesses, which is why the fine-tune dial is very nice especially when the default adjustment is a little aggressive. This lets you easily tweak the Straighten to your own liking.

As the tool rotates and straightens the image, it zooms in a little bit. This will cost you some pixels around the edge of your image. The auto-straighten tool only works on still photos, not video.

Generally a dot-oh update with Instagram consists of bug fixes and adding a new supported language. In lieu of new filters, a need which the third-party apps seem to have filled quite nicely, This is a fairly exciting update for Instagrammers. Start your download.

Instagram is still free and will run on any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad that supports iOS 5.0 or later.

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"Instagram 4.1 Update Out Now! Import Video and Auto-Straighten Photos!." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Cool Link: A Semi-Philosophical Reflection on InstaGram & Hipstamatic http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/06/24/cool-link-a-semi-philosophical-reflection-on-instagram-hipstamatic/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/06/24/cool-link-a-semi-philosophical-reflection-on-instagram-hipstamatic/#comments Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:46:30 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23339 In case you missed it elsewhere, here's a great musing by another iPhoneographer/Graphic Designer, Ted Villa, posted to his blog ExUrban. It's great piece more about the visceral aspect of shooting with Hipstamatic and Instagram and less about the technical aspect.

"Cool Link: A Semi-Philosophical Reflection on InstaGram & Hipstamatic." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Hipstamatic, John S

One of my favorite and most-used photo apps is still Hipstamatic. Even after shooting with ProCamera or another app, whenever possible, I’ll shake the Hipsta 262 for random film and lens combos, fire off a few shots, and hope for a “happy accident.” Even in the age of Oggl, where I can now change my filters if I don’t like them, I still prefer the old-school shooting experience of Hipstamatic.

In case you missed it elsewhere, here’s a great musing by another iPhoneographer/Graphic Designer, Ted Villa, posted to his blog ExUrban. It’s great piece that’s more about the visceral aspect of shooting with Hipstamatic and Instagram and less about the technical aspect. It’s an insightful “why” instead of a “how” piece. A little more and a link after the jump. >>>

One of my favorite quotes from the piece:

“As far as output goes, I’ve overcome my initial bias against the irony inherent in sharing analogue-looking photos on powerful handheld computers and stored in the cloud. I think that the analogue-ness of the images while certainly part of the surface appeal (it’s fun to create something moody and Joel Peter Witkin-esque — good luck, I know no one who can approach that, the guy is a master), entices on a different level. It enables us to mitigate the stark reality of multi megapixel cameras and all of their hard edged vividness. We can soften and humanize our photos and give them a sense of history even though they were taken in a moment on a device that enables 24/7 access to the world.”

Click here to read all of “A Semi-Philosophical Reflection on InstaGram & Hipstamatic” by Ted Villa on exurbaninc.com.

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"Cool Link: A Semi-Philosophical Reflection on InstaGram & Hipstamatic." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Facebook Announces Instagram Video http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/06/20/facebook-announces-instagram-video/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2013/06/20/facebook-announces-instagram-video/#comments Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:23:51 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=23195 At their mysterious "new product" event, Facebook announced Instagram video. This is a huge new feature for Instagram that raises the stakes in the Facebook vs. Twitter wars.

"Facebook Announces Instagram Video." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Image courtesy of Facebook Livestream

Image courtesy of Facebook Livestream

At a mysterious “new product” event, Facebook announced Instagram video. Rumored to be in the works for some time, the new feature was officially announced by Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom in San Francisco on Thursday.

This is actually a huge new feature for Instagram that raises the stakes in the Facebook vs. Twitter wars. Video for Instagram is a shot across the bow to Twitter’s Vine in the social video snippets arena. I’ve got more details after the jump. >>>

Well, like all things Instagram, we never heard from them and were not invited to the event so I’ve gleaned these details from MSNBC.com and Mashable’s reports.

The new Instagram videos will be a minimum of 3 seconds long and up to 15 seconds in length — that’s over twice the length of Vine’s six seconds of video.

The first iteration will not support importing video from your camera roll into the app. You’ll have to shoot within Instagram — an issue that will make creating videos like some of Vine’s six-second masterpieces very difficult to do at first, although it will be possible to edit videos in-app.

Similar to photos, Instagrammers will be able to apply one of 13 filters to their videos.

“Cinema” is the app’s stabilization mode to help steady shaky videos. In this morning’s demo, journalists and bloggers were skeptical but impressed with its implementation. We’ll see how the feature works in the real world.

Personally, I think watching Vine’s video’s is a little voyeuristic and often fascinating. Vinepeek is a huge productivity killer in six-second increments. We’ll see how Instagram’s new longer video snippet format helps or hinders what are essentially “photos that move”.

Your move, Twitter.

Version 4.0.0 of the Instagram app, which now supports video, is now available in the App Store.

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"Facebook Announces Instagram Video." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Using Squaready to Crop Instagram Pics http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/27/using-squaready-to-crop-instagram-pics/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/27/using-squaready-to-crop-instagram-pics/#comments Thu, 27 Dec 2012 13:47:11 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=20244 Squaready is an easy to use utility that crops a photo into square format, then lets you easily share it straight to Instagram. It not only crops down, but lets you shrink full landscape or portrait photos into the frame.

"Using Squaready to Crop Instagram Pics." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Squaready, crop Instagram photos

squaready, crop instagram photosIf you’ve spent any time browsing Instagram’s Explore tab, you’ve seen the unsightly black matte on the edges of some images. That used to be how Instagram fit an uncropped tall or wide image into its square format. I always thought that the black bars looked horrible and jarring against the white of the Instagram feed.

Out of the hundreds of Instagram support apps, the ones I use the most are the Squaready apps. It’s a great utility that comes in both Pro and ad-supported free versions. With recent updates to Instagram, using Squaready to prep your instagrams has become even more essential.

Squaready is an easy to use utility that crops a photo into square format, then lets you easily share it straight to Instagram. It not only crops down, but lets you shrink full landscape or portrait photos into the frame. It creates a more visually pleasing white matte which blends seamlessly into the background of Instagram’s Feed and Explore screens.

Both the free and the Pro versions let you easily crop an image for Instagram.

- First, import your image. Squaready imports it centered and filled in the screen, just like Instagram does now.

- For a square crop, grab the images by the edges of the frame to move. This constrains adjustment to either horizontal or vertical movements allowing for a more precise crop. You can also pinch to zoom.

- For a tall or wide crop with matte, press the “Fit” button. Squaready automatically shrinks your image down to square format and adds a white matte. The white matte looks much more natural in your feed than the old black bars.

squaready-crop-screen-1212-02- Share to Instagram or a number of other apps with “Open In…” support.

Want to start over with the image? Squaready has an easy center button that fills the crop and centers the image. The free version of Squaready has Rotate and Mirror tools as well. The Pro version gives you many more tools to adjust an image. Both versions let you change the color of the matte if you wish.

With the recent updates, Instagram’s answer to the black matte is to now force a square crop. It’s removed the ability to pinch a wide or tall image down. These recent updates have made Squaready and Squaready Pro even more invaluable to photographers who don’t want to cut off the outside edges of their images to share them.

Squaready is a free, ad-supported app and does all you need. I bought and use Squaready Pro. It’s only $0.99. While I don’t use the additional effects and borders, it’s ad-free and it’s good karma to help support this app.

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Squaready Pro is $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

 

Squaready – Instagram layouter is FREE. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. App Store link

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"Using Squaready to Crop Instagram Pics." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram Update: We’re Sorry So Here’s a New Filter http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/21/instagram-update-were-sorry-so-heres-a-new-filter/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/21/instagram-update-were-sorry-so-heres-a-new-filter/#comments Fri, 21 Dec 2012 07:17:42 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=20089 Those of us who have stuck with Instagram this week have been rewarded with a new update. Instagram 3.4.0 gets a new filter, Mayfair, and a bit of former functionality gets restored. Still a lot that hasn't been restored.

"Instagram Update: We’re Sorry So Here’s a New Filter." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram Mayfair filter

Instagram’s new Mayfair filter

Those of us who have stuck with Instagram this week have been rewarded with a new update. Usually a dot oh update has more goodies to it, but this time around there are only a couple of noteworthy new features. Instagram 3.4.0 gets a new filter, Mayfair, and a bit of former functionality gets restored. Still a lot that hasn’t been restored. I have a few thoughts after the jump. >>>

The 3.3.0 update must have been completely underwhelming as Instagram skipped it altogether. Here’s what made it and what didn’t make it into the 3.4.0 update:

The new Mayfair filter is another retro analog-style filter in line with the more subtle filters Instagram has been rolling out since version 2.0. It gives the image a slight green sunbleached look and there’s a new, subtle black frame with this filter. Mayfair is an addition, not a replacement. No other filters were removed to make way for the new Mayfair filter. Together with the new Willow filter, Instagram seems to be responding to many of the IG front end replacement apps.

Users can now can import images from any album in their photo library, functionality that was removed in the 3.2.0 update.

Not mentioned in the App Store description, but the Open In bug where sending images to Instagram from another app resulted in a black import screen has been fixed. You can now see the image before you apply a filter. You still can’t move or crop an imported image, though, which will cut off part of non-square images sent to Instagram. I still recommend Squaready – Instagram layouter or Squaready Pro to prep your images.

There is still no way to turn off the automatic Save To “Instagram” album that the app creates in your photo library.

Still no sign of the return of the popular Gotham filter removed back in version 2.0. We can hope….

The app is still playing catchup from the unpopular changes made in the last update. We covered many of them here. While it won’t please everyone,especially in light of other Instagram happenings this week, this update is a definite improvement over the previous one and undoes a lot of the bugs/features introduced in 3.2.0. This looks like it’s safe to update.

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"Instagram Update: We’re Sorry So Here’s a New Filter." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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“Thank you, and we’re listening” – Instagram Responds http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/18/thank-you-and-were-listening-instagram-responds/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/18/thank-you-and-were-listening-instagram-responds/#comments Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:38:17 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=20018 In a new post on blog.instagram, Mr. Systrom offers acknowledgement of the outcry of the community, further explanations for the relevant new clauses, and announces that Instagram will remove the language in the new Terms of Use concerning whether or not your photos can be part of an advertisement.

"“Thank you, and we’re listening” – Instagram Responds." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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instagram-splash

In the wake of yesterday’s announcement of Instagram’s new Terms of Use and the anger and backlash from the community, Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom has taken to the web to respond.

In a new post on blog.instagram, Mr. Systrom offers acknowledgement of the outcry of the community, further explanations for the relevant new clauses, and announces that Instagram will remove the language in the new Terms of Use concerning whether or not your photos can be part of an advertisement. More after the jump. >>>

Mr. Systrom said:

“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. Our main goal is to avoid things likes advertising banners you see in other apps that would hurt the Instagram user experience. Instead, we want to create meaningful ways to help you discover new and interesting accounts and content while building a self-sustaining business at the same time.”

He did not specifically address the sub-licensing and transfer of licensing clause that has many photographers in an uproar. Good or evil, it’s a fairly standard clause, though, and is used by several social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. My guess is this will do little to assuage the concerns of those who are really upset.

He did not address any remedies for restoring a deleted Instagram account. If you have already done so, you are probably out of luck.

Click here to read the entire post, “Thank you, and we’re listening.”

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Big tip of the old Cubs baseball cap to Stacy Anderson for tipping me off to this story.

"“Thank you, and we’re listening” – Instagram Responds." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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We Compare Instagram’s New Terms of Service http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/17/we-look-at-instagrams-new-terms-of-service/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/17/we-look-at-instagrams-new-terms-of-service/#comments Tue, 18 Dec 2012 05:01:59 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=19964 There's a lot of panic about Instagram's new TOS. I think most of it is unfounded. Drawing on my two semesters of Contract Law, I take a look at the relevant new terms from Instagram.

"We Compare Instagram’s New Terms of Service." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram Terms of Service

Instagram’s new Terms of Use are mostly comparable to other social networks. Mostly….

I originally ran this post last night. Pulled it after getting torn a new a-hole (it was too late for me to get into that discussion — I’d been up from an all nighter).

It’s back with a few changes and a few additions. I think my points of the original post were that these new terms of service are not much different than the current ones and no different than the TOS currently used by Facebook, Twitter, Hipstamatic and others.

I’ve made a few changes. It looks like the sub-license clause can be contrued to mean that Instagram will become the world’s largest stock photo agency on January 16. Does it mean that they will be? I still don’t think so. It was explained to me last year why the language had to be this way. The ability to use my images for in-network advertising upsets me much more than Instagram selling my photos for stock photography. Facebook, Twitter, and Hipstamatic have had this clause for a while and to the best of my knowledge there has not been any wholesale appropriation of intellectual property.

Day-after headlines like “Instagram Asserts Right To Sell Users’ Photos” which then go on to basically rehash the new TOS without any clarification from Instagram I think are sensational, a little irresponsible and are feeding the frenzy.

In the end, I’ve read the TOS. I’ve made a choice to keep my images on Instagram. And Facebook and Twitter. Your choice may be different, and I’ve added a link to help you delete your Instagram account.

The bottom line is that we need to stay on top of these and make educated, not emotional, decisions. Your choices have consequences. Among those conesquences are the loss of a large social network that you have personally invested a lot of time and effort to build. I’m not talking about Instagram as a whole, I’m referring to your followers on any social network.

Since writing this post, I read a great piece about why any clauses like this are wrong. Here’s the link to “No, what Instagram just did to its users is not acceptable” by David Meyer on ZDNet. In it, he makes some excellent points. Basically, Instagram is shitting on its user base, but it’s now doing so in the same way that Facebook, Twitter and several other photo sharing sites have been shitting on their user base for some time.

The internet is still an untamed place. If you want to share and for people to see your work, you now have to be ready to give up some control. If you want to maintain control of your works, you should consider rethinking your social media strategy.

This post will help you choose your next social photo sharing network. All things considered, Flickr is looking really good right now.

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It’s all over the Internets today. Instagram’s Terms Of Service are changing as of January 16, 2013. There are a lot of upset users threatening to delete their Instagram accounts, and some of LoFi’s Twitter followers already have.

There’s a lot of panic about Instagram’s new TOS. I think most of it is unfounded. Drawing on my two semesters of Contract Law (keep that in mind while reading this post…), I take a look at the relevant new terms from Instagram, their current terms that we’ve been shooting and sharing with for some time, and compare them to other popular social photo sharing services. Before you go off and delete your Instagram account, you need to read this. >>>

Honestly, there’s not much here in Instagram’s new Terms of use that’s different. I think for nearly all users, the panic is unwarranted. I think it’s a poor bit of serendipity that the new terms were announced within days of Facebook’s announcement that Instagram will be monetized and i think a lot of that anger is seeping over into what is essentially a clarification of terms that are already there.

Instagram’s new Terms of Service are written to bring it in line with Facebook’s and make it easier to share your sharing, liking, location and other data across the two networks.

They do read pretty sinister and perhaps could have used a little polish from Facebook’s Public Relations before being released, but I don’t really see anything new here that Instagram can’t do with your images already. (UPDATE: The language could be construed that Instagram *could* license rights to your image to third party. Usage beyond that is not clear). The new section clarifies things a lot more, but by uploading images to Instagram, you have already been giving them the right to with your images as they please.

The new Terms of Use add a “use of likeness” clause that I’m a little uncomfortable with but I believe was already implied in the previous TOS. See the quote below. In a conversation I had with The MPA’s Daniel Berman, he suggested that this is simply an avatar grab — a conclusion that I agree with.

Instagram, Facebook, Hipstamatic, and to a lesser extent Tumblr, all of these services have similar terms. Basically, all of them let you keep the ownership rights of your images and place no restrictions on your usage of them. But by using these networks, you are essentially giving the services the option to use your images forever, for free, however they see fit, until you remove the content from their network.

It’s letting them use your stuff for free which many users are angry about, but it’s not stealing the piece outright from you.

There are very few users who would be directly and significantly impacted by these terms. Specifically, they would be photographers and artists who at some point may need some very specific and restrictive licensing for their images for rights-managed usage, publications and other very focused uses. In real world usage, the new terms won’t effect most users much differently than they already do.

Our images may turn up as ads that our friends see in our Instagram feeds. But that’s something Facebook has doing for some time.

With all of these services, the only way to opt-out of their using your images is to remove your photos from their server and delete your account. That’s a very drastic and irreversible measure. If that’s what you want to do, fine. But don’t be doing so on the basis of Instagram’s new Terms of Use. In my opinion, they don’t give Instagram many new powers that they haven’t already had in a legal gray area sort of way. Even after updating this post, I still think Instagram has already had this ability.

I use all of the services listed in this post. I’ll continue to use them all for the time being based on their current terms of use. In light of all this information, this is my choice. You now have more information to make your own. All of these services have already been harvesting our usage data in other, much more pervasive and profitable ways.

I don’t think that Instagram’s new Terms of Usage are really that much different than they are now and I think that they are in line with the terms we click past on other services. I’m not worried about Instagram selling my images of airports and my dad for a mint. My privacy has already been gathered, aggregated, sold and sub-licensed.

Terms Of Use Compared

Grab a cup of coffee. It gets pretty tedious from here out.

Instagram’s Terms of Use — Current and New

Instagram’s current Terms of Use is a concise, easy to read document of about 1,100 words. Their new Terms of Use is a lengthy, bloated beast that’s over five times as long — over 6200 words. Most of them are in Lawyer-ese. Facebook’s legal team must be paid by the word.

Here’s the passage that has the iPhoneography community up in arms (emphasis mine):

1. Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here: http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.

2. Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you….

Here’s the comparable passage from Instagram’s Terms of Use that’s in effect now:

1. Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, applications, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.

Currently, Instagram can use our publicly shared images — and possibly your likeness (this is currently worded a little gray) — as they see fit within and promoting Instagram. Under the new Terms of Use, Instagram will be able to make money by licensing your images, likeness and information to third parties for advertising and promotions.

If Instagram wanted to gather a bunch of your images, then make and sell a jillion t-shirts without paying you, they can still do that now under the current Terms.

The clause that has the internet in an uproar is “you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service.” I’m not going to argue its merits (or lack of) here. Other networks have had the exact same clause for a while, too. Let’s have a look….

If you’re set on deleting your Instagram account, this link here will help you, “How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account” on Wired.com

Facebook

Here’s Facebook’s comparable Terms Of Service:

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

Pretty much the same thing only surprisingly with fewer words. By using the network, you grant Facebook a license to use any of your public content — words, images, etc — for free, however they want, even if that means leasing out the license to a third party (that’s the sub-licensable bit). It was in the “I Agree” that we all clicked past.

Twitter

Twitter’s Terms of Service are brief, but pretty clear. Emphasis added.

3.2 You. As between you and Twitter, you retain all worldwide right, title and interest in and to your Service, excluding the Twitter API, Twitter Marks, and the Twitter Service (and any derivative works or enhancements thereof), including but not limited to all intellectual property rights therein. You may provide Twitter with comments concerning the Twitter Content or Twitter API or your evaluation and use thereof. You agree that Twitter and its designees will be free to copy, modify, create derivative works, publicly display, disclose, distribute, license and sublicense, incorporate, and otherwise use the feedback, including derivative works thereto, for any and all commercial and non-commercial purposes with no obligation of any kind to you.

Hipstamatic

I like Hipstamatic a lot. I don’t share there, but many users do share through Hipstamatic’s community. Here’s the comparable passage from their Terms of use (again, emphasis mine):

You grant to us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to use, in any manner whatsoever, all or any portion of your User Submissions in connection with our Websites and Products…. You are still the owner of your User Submissions and are still free to use them in any manner you choose….

Again, many of the terms and concepts are the same. There was a similar uproar when these terms were rolled out. Lucas Buick, CEO of Hipstamatic even wrote a response to Hipstamatic’s users explaining the company’s intent (a very important concept in contract law). You can read it here. I’m not saying that Instagram’s intents are the same. I’m just pointing out the similarity in the legal language.

Tumblr

Here’s what Tumblr can do with your Intellectual Property. The Tumbler Terms of Service is pretty cool. They translate the terms from Legal-ese to a more easy to understand variant that us non-lawyer types can understand. Again, I added emphasis.

Subscribers retain ownership of all intellectual property rights in their Subscriber Content, and Tumblr and/or third parties retain ownership of all intellectual property rights in all Content other than Subscriber Content.

I removed a paragraph and I’m skipping to the summary here

When you upload your creations to Tumblr, you grant us a license to make that content available in the ways you’d expect from using our services (for example, via your blog, RSS, the Tumblr Dashboard, etc.). We never want to do anything with your content that surprises you.

… You also agree that this license includes the right for Tumblr to make all publicly-posted Content available to third parties selected by Tumblr, so that those third parties can distribute and/or analyze such Content on other media and services.

An example of what it means to “make all publicly-posted Content available” to a Tumblr partner for distribution or analysis would be if we licensed a feed of already-publicly-available Content to a partner, similar to how Twitter makes feeds available through its Streaming API.

Flickr

Of the major photo sharing services, Yahoo!/Flickr’s seems to be the least intrusive. Here’s the relevant part of Yahoo!’s terms. Yahoo!, of course, is the parent company of Flickr.

Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Yahoo! Services. However, with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Yahoo! Services, you grant Yahoo! the following worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license(s), as applicable:

a. With respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Yahoo! Services solely for the purposes of providing and promoting the specific Yahoo! Group to which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Yahoo! Services and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Yahoo! Services.

b. With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Yahoo! Services other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Yahoo! Services solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Yahoo! Services and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Yahoo! Services.

Right now, Flickr has the most artist-friendly terms of service. Basically, there’s nothing in Yahoo’s Terms of Use that grant them an indefinite, transferable, free license to use your works. To paraphrase a famous quote, what goes up on Flickr, stays on Flickr. I’ll have more on this when I take a look at the new Flickr app sometime soon.

To date that I’m aware of, none of these services have abused their license to use members’ intellectual property by selling or licensing images to third parties without expressly notifying users when they may do so.

That doesn’t mean that these terms won’t change in the future. If your art is important to you, it’s up to you to stay on top of the terms of usage and make the choices that work for you.

=M=

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Hey, you made it all the way down here! Thank you for reading this one. What do you think of Instagram’s new Terms of Use? Let us know in the talkback below.

 

 

"We Compare Instagram’s New Terms of Service." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Checking Out Some of the Not-So-Great Stuff in Instagram’s New Update http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/11/checking-out-some-of-the-not-so-great-stuff-in-instagrams-new-update/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/11/checking-out-some-of-the-not-so-great-stuff-in-instagrams-new-update/#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2012 23:25:55 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=19773 Yesterday, the Instagram 3.2 update was released. Looks like the new IG update may need a big bug-fix update. Keep reading to find out what’s changed in a bad way in the new Instagram 3.2. ...

"Checking Out Some of the Not-So-Great Stuff in Instagram’s New Update." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram 3.2 bugs

A couple of Instagram 3.2 bugs

Instagram, for iPhoneYesterday, the Instagram 3.2 update was released. Looks like the new IG update may need a big bug-fix update. Keep reading to find out what’s changed in a bad way in the new Instagram 3.2. I’ll also have a way you can possible reinstall the previous version of Instagram to restore the functionality you prefer. >>>

For Instagram, version 3.2 a fairly big update. It’s heavier on new features and light on bug fixes. However, the new update changes a lot in the app and some of the changes which weren’t dealbreakers for me have been quite unpopular among other iPhoneographers.

First, my apologies for missing or minimizing these the first time around. Second, thank you for the talkbacks that have pointed these issues out.

Square Format Import

Squaready pro for iPhone

Squaready Pro, cropping app for iPhone

In the talkback on my post on the update, readers polimorfos and Orson Willis mentioned that Instagram now crops all images square. Previously, you could pinch an image in to leave it tall or wide, but you’d get a black matte around the long edges.

There’s no way to fix this in Instagram yet, but there are excellent third-party workarounds. The one I use and recommend is Squaready Pro by FANG Inc. There’s also the free, ad-supported version Squaready with all the functionality you’ll need for creating crops and mattes.

Either version of Squaready gives you more precise control over your crop and lets you add a white matte to the long edges of your imported image producing a more visually pleasing result that blends seamlessly with the background of the Instagram feed page. Squaready Pro also has a number of other great tools lacking in Instagram. With much more tools and power, you should be using one of these apps anyway to crop your images for Instagram.

“Open In…” Bug

Reader @oniontears noticed that Instagram’s shutter remains closed when you send an image to IG from a third-party app using the Open In… protocol. Yup. I was able to duplicate this, sadly, using Squaready mentioned above. For now, the workaround simply to click Next and continue on. The image will still import. Unfortunately, if you want to apply a filter, you still can but you’re flying blind and have to guess how the image will look. There’s no way to preview the filter or frame at this time.

Definitely a huge bug. Instagram is aware of the issue and will have it fixed shortly.

Only Imports from Camera Roll

Reader Bambang notes that you can now only import images from your Camera Roll. The ability to import from any of your other photo albums or Photo Stream is missing from this update. Yup. I don’t know how I missed that one. Because I use Instragram “in the moment” so to speak, anything I’d ever want to import is probably right near the top of my Camera Roll. Actually, for that reason, Instagram’s new import made sense to me.

But removing the ability to import images from other albums on your iPhone is a huge omission, especially the Photo Stream, which lets you easily access your images from all of your iOS and Mac devices.

The only workaround until this bug is fixed, is to access these images from a third party app and “Open In…” Instagram. Remember the first two tips above — they’ll come in handy.

Instagram’s New Save To “Instagram” album on your iPhone

Reader @_randomthoughts asks if there is anyway to turn off the new “save to Instagram album” feature where your Instagrams also save to a new album in your device’s photo library. Unfortunately, there is no easy option. Turning off save Original Photos in the app’s settings does not stop the app from saving to its newly-created album.

Downgrade Instagram on your iPhone

If you want to downgrade until these issues have been worked out, you may be able to recover and reinstall the last version, 3.1.2, or other previous version of Instagram to your iPhone. You’ll have better results recovering an older version of the app if you do this sooner rather than later.

Read our classic post, “How to Reinstall Older Versions of Apps on your iPhone or iPad” to help you possibly reinstall a previous version of Instagram. The filename you’re looking for is “Instagram 3.1.2.ipa”

Instagram Feedback

Instagram’s help page isn’t really much help here. There are tons of articles there, but no link to a forum where you can interact with a tech or customer support. Your best bet is to post to Twitter using the @Instagram or post to Instagram’s Facebook page. My hunch is that they won’t respond to you directly, but at least they’ll be aware of your issue. Maybe Instagram can use a few of those Facebook billions and spring for a GetSatisfaction account.

I still think the 3.2 update is a solid one. After working with it a little longer, I realize that it has a few problems. Looks like the next update will be a fairly comprehensive bug-fix update.

=M=

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"Checking Out Some of the Not-So-Great Stuff in Instagram’s New Update." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram’s New Update Has a Lot of New Stuff http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/10/instagrams-new-update-has-a-lot-of-new-stuff/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/10/instagrams-new-update-has-a-lot-of-new-stuff/#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2012 00:46:23 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=19758 The new Instagram 3.2 update has just hit the App Store. For an Instagram update, it's heavy on new features and light on the tweaks and bug fixes. It's not a bad update and includes an new interface, filter and other goodies.

"Instagram’s New Update Has a Lot of New Stuff." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram 3.2 Willow filter

Instagram’s new Willow filter

… But is it any good?

Instagram, for iPhoneThe new Instagram 3.2 update has just hit the App Store. For an Instagram update, it’s heavy on new features and light on the tweaks and bug fixes. It’s not a bad update. I’ve got more after the jump.

If you really use Instagram’s TiltShift feature, you’ll want to read this post before you update the app. >>>

Lots of new features in this update, including a slick new User Interface. Overall, I like the UI update. The size and position of the shutter button are improved on an iPhone 5. The advertised speed increase is really moot as Instagram is more of a shoot-then-process camera app. Visually, Instagram now looks more like a lot of other camera apps. Long-time Instagram users may not like the new look, but functionally the features of the app now look like you’d expect.

I don’t like the layout of the new import feature. Rather than a standard start-at-the-bottom of your camera roll like most photo apps, Instagram now flips the order of the images with the most recent images at the top of the window. You now have to scroll down to find older images. While the net effect is still that import functions the same way, the new import screen displays contents opposite the way nearly every other iPhone photo app displays them. Mentally, it’s a little jarring to make that switch.

Willow is the new filter in this version. It’s a medium contrast black & white filter — not as stark as Inkwell. It comes with a wide, aged, off-white frame. It’s not bad, but it’s far from the return of the classic Gotham filter. I like black & white. I may use it from time to time, but I’ll probably gravitate more towards Inkwell when I need black & white in Instagram (or use a third party app).

Instagram has a history of listening to their users’ suggestions sometimes. As a result of these suggestions, the tilt-shift feature was “improved” many updates ago. I thought Instagram’s original TiltShift filter was just fine for adding tiltshift and other depth of field effects. I’ve long thought that the “improved” tiltshift was too harsh with a very quick rolloff. Whether I liked it or not, Instagram’s tiltshift was a signature effect.

Instagram has “improved” the tiltshift yet again. The effect is not applied as heavy and there is a slightly more gradual rolloff. It’s now more like Instagram’s original tiltshift effect again. If you’re a fan of the old, hard-edged tiltshift, you won’t be pleased with this new tweak. Everyone else will like the more natural gradation and more subtle edge. It’ll save me a few trips to another app like TiltShift Generator.

Instagram

The old Instagram TiltShift effect

Instagram for iPhone

Instagram’s new, improved TiltShift effect

One more feature/bug fix that isn’t in the App Store update description. Instagram now has better support for the 8MP resolution of the iPhone 4S and 5. Previous versions of Instagram saved imported images back to your camera roll in high resolution, but it was often around 1800-1900 pixels square — often less than a 4MP image on an iPhone 4S and 5. The new 3.2 update does a much better job of saving high res images. You’ll find that your full-res square images are now much closer the the 2448×2448 on the latest iPhones.

Overall, Instagrammers should be pleased with this update. Since the Facebook acquisition, solid updates have been rolling out at a much quicker pace and that’s good for everyone who uses the app.

Instagram is a free app. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. Sadly, this means the later updates no longer work on older iPhones like the 2G and 3G.

=M=

Left: Instagram’s Inkwell filter. Right: the new Willow filter

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"Instagram’s New Update Has a Lot of New Stuff." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Is Instagram Disabling Its Twitter Integration? http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/05/instagram-disables-its-twitter-integration/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/12/05/instagram-disables-its-twitter-integration/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 20:46:11 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=19705 Over the past day or so, some users have been reporting that their images shared from Instagram have failed to show correctly on Twitter. This is not a glitch. It looks like Instagram has taken another big step forward in distancing itself from Twitter.

"Is Instagram Disabling Its Twitter Integration?." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Within the past day or so, many Instagramers have noticed that their images are failing to show correctly on Twitter.

So much for Instagram’s days of being a one-stop distribution point for all photos social. Over the past day or so, some users have been reporting that their images shared from Instagram have failed to show correctly on Twitter or even show up at all. Images are not cropping correctly when viewed on the Twitter website or in Twitter’s photo apps.

This is not a glitch. It looks like Instagram has taken another big step forward in distancing — possibly disconnecting — itself from the Facebook-rival Twitter. More after the jump. >>>

Several other tech blogs, including MarketingLand and New York Times’ Bits are reporting collectively that Instagram has basically pulled the plug on letting Twitter display Instagrams as part of its content. Although the connection between the two has been spotty the last day or so, going forward, Instagram photos will no longer be embedded along with the rest of Twitter’s data. Instead, images shared to Twitter will be directed to Instagram’s new profile pages.

“I tried sharing a few images to Twitter from Instagram yesterday,” says Instagram user Stacy Anderson. “I hit share and it looked like they went. They never showed up in my Twitter stream, though. I gave it time. They never showed up at all.”

In a status update, Twitter confirms.

“Instagram photo-rendering issue 6 hours ago
Users are experiencing issues with viewing Instagram photos on Twitter. Issues include cropped images. This is due to Instagram disabling its Twitter cards integration, and as a result, photos are being displayed using a pre-cards experience. So, when users click on Tweets with an Instagram link, photos appear cropped.”

According to the New York Times post, while speaking at the LeWeb technology conference, “Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive, confirmed that the company has removed the ability to send pictures to Twitter, and plans to completely cut off embedding pictures on the Twitter Web site.”

He did not say when images would stop showing up within Twitter, but a quick check of my Twitter feed shows that the migration may have already started. I’ve since shot and shared images from Instagram to Twitter and it looks like all of my Instagram links now take me off of Twitter and to my IG profile page.

Speculation is that this may be in part a reaction to Twitter’s turning of Instagram access to its follower graph earlier this year, crippling the ability for Instagram users to search their Twitter network for new followers. This year, Twitter has been implementing a lot of other new policies and closed APIs — all designed to tighten its network. The end result, though, is that it’s now more controlled, exclusive and sandboxed and in the process alienating a lot of developers.

The reality is that this is probably more about your data and metrics and who controls it. Both Twitter and Facebook/Instagram are not in the social network business. They’re in the data-mining and advertising business. The social networks are now just a means to collect this data from their users.

For now, the user experience should be similar, but Facebook/Instagram gets to track and keep that much more data. Is this one more step towards an inevitable breakup of Instagram and Twitter? Your move, Twitter. Let’s see what you do….

In the meantime, you’re not imagining if your Instagrams have been behaving a little strange on Twitter recently.

=M=

Have you been experiencing any Instagram/Twitter weirdness recently? Let us know in the comments below.

~~~~

Stacy Anderson also gets big thanks for the tip on this story.

"Is Instagram Disabling Its Twitter Integration?." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Is Instagram censoring the iPhoneography hashtag? http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/09/06/is-instagram-censoring-the-iphoneography-hashtag/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/09/06/is-instagram-censoring-the-iphoneography-hashtag/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 18:11:23 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=18437 Using the #iphoneography hashtag is a wasting keystrokes on Instgram. Here's why. Although Instagram will let you type #iphonoegraphy as a hashtag, it returns zero results when doing a hashtag search using the term. Basically, Instagram may be censoring the #iphoneography hashtag.

"Is Instagram censoring the iPhoneography hashtag?." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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instagram censoring iphoneography hashtag

Using the #iphoneography hashtag is wasting keystrokes on Instagram. Here’s why.

Instagram hashtags are a great way to label your image to make it easier for others with similar interests to find your photos. If you’re like many iPhone users on Instagram, you tag your photos with #iphoneography hashtag to help identify the style of photography.

It seems that lately using the #iphoneography hashtag on Instagram is a waste of time and typing. Although Instagram will let you type #iphonoegraphy as a hashtag, it returns zero results when doing a hashtag search using the term. Basically, Instagram may be censoring the #iphoneography hashtag.  >>>

WARNING: This post contains search terms that may be slightly NSFW.

I have no problems using the #iPhoneography hashtag on my images. However, Instagram doesn’t alert me that it’s incorrect, unusable or that it will be excluded from search.

Doing a hashtag search for the term, either in Instagram’s Explore tab or on Statigram returns zero results. Performing a hashtag search of #iphonography, minus the “e” and also Instagram’s preferred style of referencing iPhone photography, returns over 2.7 million results.

The #iphoneography hashtag results are not redirected. The tags are simply going nowhere. Is this a licensing issue, premptive trademark prevention or simply a not-so-subtle way of Instagram enforcing its preferred spelling of the word?

Instagram has not net replied to my email asking about this matter.

Instagram censors other tags as well, including many that violate its terms of service. In light of recent news stories about the spread of Teen P*rn throughout the service. A hashtag search of phrases like “boobs”, “porn” and others also come up empty, so Instagram definitely censors hashtags. Surprisingly, other hashtags like “nsfw”, “ana”, and “boob” return thousands of tagged images, many of them graphic.

If it’s a case of potential trademark infringement, here’s a list of other heavily protected trademarked terms I did an Instagram search for today:

#dallascowboys    39,910 photos
#nfl        168,869 photos
#mlb        99,877 photos
#oscars        13,608 photos (The Academy aggressively protects its trademarks)
#android    926,934 photos
#androidography    122,905 photos
#droidography    10,155 photos

#apple    1,135,799 photos
#mac    767,149 photos
#iphone        No tags found
#iphoneography        No tags found
#iphonography        2,732,852 images found

According to Wikipedia, “iPhoneography” is the correct spelling. Searching for “iPhonography” doesn’t even redirect. Either Instagram has put its clout behind a misspelled word or its using its reach and influence to try and change the community. While it seems I’m splitting hairs, I recently wrote about the importance of the consistency of the the iPhoneography brand. Instagram now has a rapidly growing base of over 80 million users. This is a significant and influential omission.

Instagram user Rick Cortes says, “I noticed this months ago. A little annoying. And the Instagram community has adapted by misspelling the word.”

Is this a case of Instagram censoring the hashtag “#iphoneography” in favor of its own implementation of the word? The question isn’t whether they’re doing it. The question is why.

=M=

~~~~

Big thanks to Stacy Anderson, Rick Cortes, and reader Oniontears for their help in getting this post written. =M=

"Is Instagram censoring the iPhoneography hashtag?." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram updated. No longer old iPhone-friendly http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/08/01/instagram-updated-no-longer-old-iphone-friendly/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/08/01/instagram-updated-no-longer-old-iphone-friendly/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 06:36:20 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=17471 This post will be relevant to maybe a few dozen readers. I'm one of them. The new Instagram 2.5.1 update was recently released. For the first time, it's no longer old iPhone-friendly.

"Instagram updated. No longer old iPhone-friendly." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram now requires iOS 4.0 or newer

This post will be relevant to maybe a few dozen readers. I’m one of them. The new Instagram 2.5.1 update was recently released. Here’s what’s new:

- Bug fixes
- New Flickr authentication support

Not mentioned in the App Store description is that with this update, Instagram now requires iOS 4.0 or newer. UPDATE 01.11.13: More recent Instagram updates have changed the minimum iOS requirements to iOS 4.3. This means that owners of iPhone 3G or older won’t be able to update, install, or reinstall Instagram on their iPhone.

Through version 2.5.0, Instagram was the highest profile app in a dwindling number of photo apps that still supported iPhone OS 3. The original iPhone 2G won’t run any OS newer than 3.1.3. The iPhone 3G will run iOS 4, but many owners reported that their iPhones run better with the older operating system.

Don’t panic. Nearly all iPhones and iPads now run iOS 4 or newer. You’re okay.

Why would anyone still be using an old iPhone? There’s still a lot of functionality in one. If you’ve upgraded yours, odds are you gave your old device to a family member or a friend. For someone who’s “upgrading” from a non-smartphone, even a used iPhone 3G is a huge improvement. There are still plenty of apps — photo and non — that will run on an old iPhone, but that number is dwindling. Most old installed apps will still run fine. Updates will simply stop showing up in your device’s App Store app.

I still use my old 2G to shoot. There are a few apps which won’t run on the newer operating systems and I can still shoot with Polarize! Although the camera of the 2G is pretty bad by today’s standards, I like shooting with it as sort of a “project” camera. It lacks the color and dynamic range of the newer iPhones. It’s the digital equivalent of a Holga. It truly is shooting life in lo-fi.

I’m filing this one under “Musings” and not News. I expected to see OS 3 support go away with a bigger update — Instagram 3, now with IMAX! Instead, it went away quietly in a very minor dot-hundredth update. Other apps have dropped support for old iPhones, but this is really one of the last nails….

If you don’t have Instagram by now, the App Store link is below. Instagram is still free but for the first time, it’s no longer old iPhone-friendly. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 4.3 or later.

Life In LoFi keeps a database of which apps support old operating systems. If you have an old iPhone, check out our iPhone Photo App Resolutions to see which photo apps will still run on your device. It’s also got the maximum resolutions of over 550 photo apps.

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

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"Instagram updated. No longer old iPhone-friendly." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Photoshop Actions for Instagram’s “Lost” filters http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/07/26/instagram-photoshop-actions-for-gotham-poprocket-apollo/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/07/26/instagram-photoshop-actions-for-gotham-poprocket-apollo/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2012 10:01:43 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=17332 Photographer Jana Werner has created some Photoshop actions which recreate the three missing Instagram effects -- Gotham, Poprocket, and Apollo -- as well as Nashville. You can now recreate these lost filters on your desktop or laptop.

"Photoshop Actions for Instagram’s “Lost” filters." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Processed with Instagram 1.8′s Gotham filter

Those of you who remember Instagram’s early, low-resolution days on iOS will also remember the three filters that didn’t make the upgrade when Instagram went high-res. The three filters — Gotham, Poprocket, and Apollo — were well-liked and a lot more visually interesting than many of Instagram’s current effects. Despite a loud user outcry and a few vague promises to add them back eventually, thee dynamic filters remain deleted.

Here’s a link to some Instagram Photoshop Actions which recreate these lost filters on your desktop or laptop. Read past the jump for more. >>>

Photographer Jana Werner has created several Instagram Photoshop actions which recreate the three missing effects — Gotham, Poprocket, and Apollo — as well as Nashville, which is still an Instagram effect. Gotham was the unique, beautiful, moody monochrome filter with a convex frame. Unlike Inkwell’s comparatively flat black & white, Gotham’s monochrome was stark and very noir. Poprocket  was the colorful “berry pop” color splash style filter with good vignetting and a great reddish-purple color shift. Apollo was, well… replaced by better filters. Say what you will about Instagram, but Gotham and Poprocket were nice filters.

The actions are extremely easy to use. They come with great documentation. Simply install, then run from your Actions menu. Like Jana’s other Photoshop actions, these come very close to recreating the original effects. The set of four actions in the Instagram Filters Pack costs €3.95 — that’s currently about $4.78 USD or so.

Instagram filters seem pretty common but are fairly difficult to recreate and have them look right. I’ve tried. I previously posted a tutorial on recreating the Gotham filter on your iPhone using Camera+ and Simply B&W. If you’re not concerned about processing iPhone images off your device, Jana’s Photoshop Actions are much faster and easier.

Even if you have an early 1.x version of Instagram on an old iPhone 2G or 3G, you won’t be able to use it. Old versions no longer run. Now, the app won’t let you past the sign-in screen without updating. Until Instagram brings these nearly-forgotten filters back, this is the easiest way to get the look of these classic early effects.

More more information and to purchase these and other retro filters, visit Jana’s Photoshop Resource site.

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Instagram’s Nashville filter

Jana Werner’s Nashville-esque filter

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DISCLAIMER: Jana’s Photoshop actions don’t use any of the Instagram app’s content. All borders included in the package, are custom made.

"Photoshop Actions for Instagram’s “Lost” filters." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram’s new web interface. Third-party services seem safe for now. http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/06/29/instagram-new-web-interface-0612/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/06/29/instagram-new-web-interface-0612/#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2012 18:35:05 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=16521 It's been a bounty week for Instagrammers. In addition to the first significant update since the Facebook purchase, Instagram also quietly added new features to the web interface.

"Instagram’s new web interface. Third-party services seem safe for now.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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It’s been a bounty week for Instagrammers. In addition to the first significant update since the Facebook purchase, the popular social photo app Instagram also quietly added new features to the web interface. You can see the new Photo Page in action here on my Instagram feed.

It’s definitely an improvement over the last web interface update, and definitely a step in the right direction. But for all the fuss over the features of the new interface, there’s still a ways to go before it’s a functional web portal for browsing and interaction.

Read more after the jump. >>>

First, it’s not really a true “web interface.” Instagram calls it the new “Photo Page” and that’s a better description. The new photo page now allows viewers to favorite images, comment on them and interact with other commenters from the page. Supposedly, you can also follow new users from the page as well, but I was unable to get this feature to work.

The new page now looks more like the Instagram app, with a similar color palette and graphic elements.

What the New Instagram Web Interface Can’t Do

The new photo page lacks a lot of the functionality needed in a true web interface.

The only way I was able to access the new page is through an email link sent from the Instagram phone app. I was only able to access the individual photos shared via email. I was still unable to access my feed — or anyone else’s — from the my login on the web. I was unable to browse other users’ feeds or profiles. That’s a pretty big, frustrating omission for a “web interface.”

In the web version, there is no user autofill for replying to comments. Also, it looks to me like there’s no way to see the location info on a map as in the previous version of the interface. There’s only a small text tag when location information is in the photo.

Some bloggers and tech websites were already forecasting the end for third-party web portals such as Instagrid, Webstagram, InstaView and others. However, those services and apps provide much more interactivity and functionality for users. The new Instagram photo page does not provide this level of user interaction yet and there is still a need for these outside services.

Watching Instagrammers work and interact almost makes me wonder if the new photo page is more of a feature to share Instagrams with those who don’t use the app, rathere than being the new and exciting way for Instagrammers to interact with the service. To me, a full web interface would defeat the spirit of Instagram, which is shoot, share, and interact all within the app itself, not on a desktop. A full web interface would change Instagram from an iPhone or Android-only club to an anyone with a camera and a desktop club, and probably flood the service even more with photos shot on a DSLR and processed on a desktop.

Instagram’s new Photo Page is definitely an improvement. It seems that changes are coming fairly quickly now that the app is part of Facebook — another new and very good change. I look forward to new further improvements of the Instagram’s web interface. it’ll be interesting to see how they balance the requests of Instagrammers for more functionality with the investments made by third party developers to provide those functions when Instagram was in its infancy.

What do you think of the new Instagram Photo Page? Let us know in the comments below.

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"Instagram’s new web interface. Third-party services seem safe for now.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Cool new hidden feature of Instagram 2.5. Hint: it’s not Explore. http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/06/27/hidden-instagram-camera-roll-shorcut/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/06/27/hidden-instagram-camera-roll-shorcut/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 20:58:45 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=16485 Instagram 2.5 was just released this week. It's the first significant upgrade to the popular free social photo app since being purchased by Facebook.The update features an undocumented shortcut for direct access to your iPhone's camera roll

"Cool new hidden feature of Instagram 2.5. Hint: it’s not Explore.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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instagram 2.5 access camera roll shortcut

Instagram 2.5 was just released this week. It’s the first significant upgrade to the popular free social photo app since being purchased by Facebook.

The update features a revamped profile tab, improvements to commenting, user search autocompletes based on people you follow, and (surprise) improved Facebook sharing. There’s also a new undocumented shortcut to your iPhone’s camera roll. It’s a pretty cool Instagram tip for a lot of users. Read past the jump for more info. >>>

The new Instagram 2.5 update features an undocumented shortcut for direct access to your iPhone’s camera roll. iOS users can now simply press and hold the camera button on the main screen for a few seconds. Instagram then takes you to straight to the camera roll, saving you a few clicks from navigating an extra couple of screens.

It’s not ideal for all Instagrammers yet. You are taken to the top of your iPhone’s camera roll where all the oldest images are, rather than the bottom of it. It’s a nifty shortcut if you keep your camera roll pretty cleaned up. If you keep thousands of images in your camera roll, you’re probably better off navigating through the import screens. Hopefully, we’ll see this fixed soon. It’s a pretty neat trick.

Unfortunately for Android users, this shortcut isn’t yet available in the Android version of Instagram.

Instagram is free and still works on any iPhone ever made. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

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This tip originally appeared on Twitter in Keegan Jones’ feed, @keeg.

"Cool new hidden feature of Instagram 2.5. Hint: it’s not Explore.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Facebook Buys Instagram: Breaking the Instagram ties http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/04/10/facebook-buys-instagram-breaking-the-instagram-ties/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/04/10/facebook-buys-instagram-breaking-the-instagram-ties/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 14:12:36 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=15992 iPhoneographer Dixon Hamby has shared with us some of his suggestions for extricating yourself from Instagram and also serves up his recommendation for an alternate social photo network.

"Facebook Buys Instagram: Breaking the Instagram ties." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Yesterday, we (and just about every other news source) reported that Facebook is buying the popular social photo network Instagram. Many Instagram users are concerned with the changes Facebook’s ownership will make and with the privacy concerns of sharing their photos using Facebook’s terms of service and with the possibility of Facebook using Instagram’s data for marketing purposes.

Personally, I’m not one of them. I’m not going to ditch Instagram over the Facebook buyout. I already make it easy enough for Big Brother to track me anywhere, so I feel like I might as well enjoy the tidbits I get in return. If you don’t share my view, iPhoneographer Dixon Hamby has shared with us some of his suggestions for extricating yourself from Instagram and also serves up his recommendation for an alternate social photo network.

First, you don’t want to lose your photography. Even if you already have it backed up somewhere else, redundancy is good. In the wake of yesterday’s events, Dixon shared a link to a service and a Mac app that let you grab and download all the photos in your Instagram photostream. Visit this link here on TheNextWeb.com to learn how to download and delete your Instagram account.

The link recommends a service called Instaport.me to extract your images. If you are having issues with the service, you can also try a free, Mac-only app called InstaBackup to download your photostream.

Dixon also checked out the existing social photo networks. His recommendation? picplz as an iPhoneographer-friendly alternative to Instagram.

Dixon says:

“Now that instagram has been purchased by Facebook, any photos posted are subject to FB’s onerous terms of service. I found that PicPlz app default setting is “All Rights Reserved.” The user rights settings can’t be seen from app, but if you go to picplz.com > (Account) > PicLicensing, you can see the settings and change it if you’d like. The app also has easy sharing to Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, Posterous, etc.”

Again, I’m not recommending that you ditch Instagram for other social networks. None of the existing one will have anywhere near IG’s numbers, if they ever do. But, if that’s what you choose to do with your photos, Dixon Hamby’s recommendations should make the transition easier for you.

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You can follow Dixon Hamby on Twitter/@DixonHamby

 

"Facebook Buys Instagram: Breaking the Instagram ties." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Breaking News: Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion dollars. http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/04/09/breaking-news-facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion-dollars/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/04/09/breaking-news-facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion-dollars/#comments Mon, 09 Apr 2012 18:35:59 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=15986 Mega-social network Facebook has purchased mega-social photo network Instagram for $1 billion dollars in cash and stock.

"Breaking News: Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion dollars.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Breaking News: Mega-social network Facebook has purchased mega-social photo network Instagram for $1 billion dollars in cash and stock.

It reads like an April Fool’s Day story that I might have posted a few days ago, but Mark Zuckerberg just posted the announcement on his timeline about an hour ago as of this writing.

“I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook….

“We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.”

I have no inside information, but I don’t think that Facebook bought Instagram to kill it outright. Not even Facebook would want to piss of that many loyal users. Most of Instagram’s 27 million users already use Facebook, so I don’t think it was for Facebook to pick up a flood of new users — something it would acquire organically anyway. But I think the rapid growth of Instagram not only caught the attention of Facebook, but allegedly Twitter and Google as well. Facebook merely presented the first, best offer.

I also don’t think Instagram is in danger of becoming Facebook-Lite any time soon. Zuck writes “We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.” It sounds like Facebook is going to let Instagram continue to be Instagram, at least for the time being.

With access to Facebook’s engineers and resources, over time I think that Instagram will continue to grow. I think soon we’ll see better Instagram updates and prblems and bugs addressed quicker on both iOS and Android platforms. Eventually, look for features of both platforms to find their way into each other. At this point, Instagram’s growth probably just got hypercharged. Hopefully “the speed of Instagram” just got a little faster.

There are users who hate Facebook so much that Instagram may see a slight drop-off in active users. For those users or users who simply prefer a more independent social photo network, there are plenty of alternatives, including Path, picplz, and Shnap!. I recently posted that fledgling social photo network picyou was way too much like Instagram. It now looks a lot more attractive because of its indie status.

There are several other sites reporting this story including Mashable, Gizmodo and TechCrunch. All three are excellent reads for more info that I would just be regurgitating here.

I’m certain that right now thousands of users across the Instagrams are prematurely announcing the network’s death knells. I disagree. For the time being, I think this benefits Instgram’s already huge network by allowing it greater access to Facebook’s even greater network and resources. Instagram will still be big and grow quickly. I think any changes to Instagram will still be organic to its growth, only now they’ll have Facebook’s influence going forward. Changes going forward will just be — we won’t know what could have been.

How do you think the Facebook purchase will effect Instagram? Will you still use Instagram? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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"Breaking News: Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion dollars.." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram 2.1 Update Out Now With New Filter, Interface, and Lux http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/02/10/instagram-2-1-update-out-now-with-new-filter-interface-and-lux/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/02/10/instagram-2-1-update-out-now-with-new-filter-interface-and-lux/#comments Sat, 11 Feb 2012 01:09:59 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=15266 Instagram 2.1 was just released today. After a slew of minor updates, this new update adds a few great new features to this popular app. In this update, Instagram gets Lux, its version of "Clarity." There's also a new filter in here. Oh, and the interface gets prettified.

"Instagram 2.1 Update Out Now With New Filter, Interface, and Lux." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram’s new Sierra filter and Lux tool

Instagram 2.1 was just released today. After a slew of minor updates, this new update adds a few great new features to this popular app. In this update, Instagram gets Lux, its version of “Clarity.” There’s also a new filter in here. Oh, and the interface gets prettified.

Click past the jump for more pics and info. >>>

Instagram 2.1′s new interface

This is a very good Instagram update. Lux is probably the biggest new feature added to Instagram since its implementation of tiltshift many updates ago. Bascially, Lux adds a little iPhone-HDR to photos. It bumps the color saturation a little. It increases the contrast. And, it helps balance the dynamic range of the image that increases the details in the darker areas but not at the expense of the brighter areas. With one button, Lux adds pop to Instagram pics. Although more apps are now adding a similar tool, for Instagram to have it built in is still pretty bitchin’!

The new Sierra filter won’t appease lovers of the deleted Gotham and Poprocket filters. Sierra adds aging and fading to the image and I think a little bit of noise as well. There’s also an age-discolored frame that can be toggled off and on.

Instagram’s new interface is pretty sweet. The icons have been bolded and modernized. They’re also a little different which communicates the functions a little more clearly. It’s very iconic which is great given the global success of the app. Now that Instagram has this new interface, the rash of copycat clones in the App Store will look even more like last year’s Instagram.

Instagram is free. Still no ads in the app — yay! And, it still works on any iPhone ever made.

Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

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Raw image (left) and with Lux applied (right)

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"Instagram 2.1 Update Out Now With New Filter, Interface, and Lux." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Life In LoFi’s 10 Great Instagram Tips http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/02/06/life-in-lofis-10-great-instagram-tips/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2012/02/06/life-in-lofis-10-great-instagram-tips/#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:07:05 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=15133 Instagram is one of the most insanely popular photo apps for iPhone. Here are ten tips to help you get more out of Instagram.

"Life In LoFi’s 10 Great Instagram Tips." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram is one of the most insanely popular photo apps for iPhone. Since its introduction over a year ago, it has amassed over 15 million users. An Android version has been released and a rumored Windows Phone version is “in the works” as well.

While maybe not the best social photo app in the store, it’s the most popular and it’s arguable that the number of people who use it as well as the community that has sprung up around Instagram are huge reasons for its continued popularity. It’s easy for people to connect with Instagram. I use Instagram, especially when I travel. You can find me on Instagram/@martyneardfw.

By opening up its API, Instagram has made it easy to be as creative as you want, whether it’s using one of the app’s 16 built-in one-click filters or using one of the many Instagram-ready photo apps. Here are ten tips to help you get more out of Instagram. >>>

1. Save Your Original Photo

If you often use Instagram to shoot, be sure you are saving your original photo to your camera roll as well. Having the original lets you rework the image later in Instagram or other photo apps. It’s hidden away. In the iPhone’s Settings app, scroll down to Instagram’s settings, open, and be sure “Save original photo” is turned on. To save a high-res version of your Instagram-processed image to your camera roll, be sure that “Save filtered photo” is turned on as well. Instagram itself only saves a 612×612 pixel image to the web.

2. Take Multiple Shots

Taking multiple shots or “safety shots” helps ensure that you capture the image that you see. Change up the angle or the in-camera composition slightly. Move the camera around by repositioning yourself if possible. Shoot the photo wide and crop it down. Sometimes the capture you see doesn’t translate well in-camera. Having multiple shots not only gives you more creative choices, but gives you more options in case of camera focus or exposure glitches. I use Camera or a third-party camera replacement to save multiple shots to my camera roll and then share the best photo for Instagram. It’s a few extra steps, but often produces a better photo.

3. Get More Filter Options

Instagram has a much-beloved (or oft-maligned) set of 16 retro photo filters that you can apply to an image. These one-click filters can make shooting and sharing to Instagram a snap. for a much greater variety of filter options, a lot of third-party apps now share directly to Instagram. Apps like Camera+ by tap tap tap, MacPhun’s popular FX Photo Studio, Pixlr-o-matic, Mextures and many others give you many more effects options and then export your image directly to Instagram already cropped and centered — ready to go!

 

4. Zoom In Instagram

The iPhone Camera app has a built-in 5x digital zoom. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t. To use zoom in Instagram, first shoot your image using Apple’s Camera using zoom, then import your photo into Instagram. Shooting with your iPhone held sideways will help you get a better top-to-bottom crop.

5. Add Text

A picture is worth a thousand words. If you want to add a few more (right on top of your image), two excellent apps for adding text and other flair are Typic Pro and Over. Both apps let you add text in a variety of fonts and colors. The both let you crop square in the app, and both export straight to Instagram. Typic and Typic Pro and saves full-res square format images to your camera roll. Over saves at a very usable 2048×2048 4 MP resolution.

6. Posting Non-Square Photos to Instagram

Sometimes a photo needs more image than square. Sharing an uncropped tall or wide image into Instagram adds unsightly black letterboxing to the extra space. I highly recommend the excellent free app Squaready to crop my images for Instagram. It easily preps tall or wide images for Instagram by adding white letterboxing that seamlessly blends with Instagram’s background.

7. Print Your own Instagrams

The latest versions of Instagram saves high-res versions of the processed images to your camera roll — around 1920×1920 pixels on an iPhone 5. That’s large enough to make 10″x10″ enlargements from your Instagrams. Grabbing one of your Instagrams from the web will get your a much smaller 612×612 pixel image, but that’s still enough resolution to get good quality enlargements up to 4″x4″. Check out our post on making iPhone photo prints for great info on making enlargements.

8. Use Hashtags

Use relevant hashtags on Instagram to help your images show up in searches, helping get your images seen by more users. Want to browse some of the 25,000 images of Dallas? #dallas. There are over 44,000 Instagrams of #superbowl. Party. I’m an airplane geek. Nice to know there are 127 Instagrams of #dc3. Got your Instagram account connected to your Twitter account? Your Instgram hashtags also show up in your Twitter feed as well.

9. Check Your Stats

If you’re an Instagrammer and also love analytics as much as I do, Statigram is a very cool free website to check out. Statigram provides metrics for your Instagram account, including your Top 5 most liked and followed photos, how often you use filters and which are your favorites, and your most engaged followers. Log into Statigram using your Instagram credentials. Stats are refreshed at each login.

10. Send a Postcard

You can’t tape the web to the refrigerator. While email is immediate, many people still love to get real postcards via snailmail. Postagram Postcards is an Instagram-focused app that lets you create and send real postcards using your Instagram feed. The ship a glossy photo postcard both US and international. Your Instagram arrives as a pop-out 3″x3″ print. You can include an optional 140 character message. The app is free but each postcard costs $0.99. It’s worth a buck to send a personal memory.

Got some Instagram tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.

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Related Post:

Miss the old Instagram Gotham filter? Check out our past post, Instagram: Recreating Gotham Using Camera+

"Life In LoFi’s 10 Great Instagram Tips." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram: Recreating Gotham Using Camera+ http://lifeinlofi.com/2011/09/26/instagram-recreating-gotham-using-camera/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2011/09/26/instagram-recreating-gotham-using-camera/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2011 14:16:46 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=13135 Instagrammer @wilburtheant, along with @darren2112 and @dudettewalnuts, have been circulating a recipe to recreate the look of Instagram's old Gotham filter using Camera+.

"Instagram: Recreating Gotham Using Camera+." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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UPDATE 07.31.13: If you already own Camera+, there is now no need to jump through all these hoops. The 3.9 updae of Camera+ added a really killer one-click Gotham filter to it’s toolbox. Read more about the Camera+ 3.9 update here.

Despite its deceptive simplicity, there’s nothing common about Instagram’s filters. They look similar to effects that can be achieved in any number of photo apps, but they can’t easily be exactly duplicated. I’ve tried a few times and given up.

Among the changes in the Instagram 2.0 update are the disappearance of a few of the app’s filters, including the popular Gotham filter. Instagrammer @wilburtheant, along with @darren2112 and @dudettewalnuts, have been circulating a recipe to recreate the look of the Gotham filter using Camera+ ( ).

I’ve made a couple of tweaks to their recipe which helps improve the converted blues in the image and helps reduce the amount of purple in the shadows and 3/4 tones. You’ll also need either Simply B&W ( ) or MonoPhix ( ) for this technique. The tweaked recipe is after the jump. >>>

1. Using Simply B&W or MonoPhix, convert to black & white using the red filter.
2. Save to camera roll
3. Using Camera+, crop image square if desired.
4. Scenes > Darken
5. FX Effects > I (heart) Analog > apply Silver Gelatin at 50%. Done.
6. Hold down Save button and select “Commit Edits.”
7. FX Effects > Color > apply Vibrant at 30%. Done.
8. Hold down Save button and select “Commit Edits.”
9. FX Effects > Color > Cyanotype at 15%. Done.
10. Borders > Simple > Round Black or Styled > Viewfinder  (Also, try using PictureShow > Style > Convex Blur).
11. Save to camera roll.

It comes close to Gotham, but there are still some differences. There’s a little more shadow detail in the actual Gotham filter. And, I found that both wilburtheant’s original and this revised technique work better on some images than others. Your mileage may vary from image to image, but I think this recipe gets you close to the stark contrast and rich saturation of Gotham.

By the way, both techniques preserve the original image size of your photo.

As far as Gotham and the other missing filters making a comeback? Instagram recently said that they “hope to introduce improved versions that capture the essence of these filters.” With the changes in all of the filters in the new update, even if Gotham, Poprocket and Apollo return, they’ll almost certainly be different than the ones users love in Instagram version 1.

If you simply want to hang on to all of the old filters for a while longer, read Life In LoFi’s classic post on how to reinstall an older version of an iOS app.

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Processed with Simply B&W, Camera+, and PictureShow

Processed with Instagram 1.8′s Gotham filter

Processed with Simply B&W and Camera+

Processed with Instagram 1.8′s Gotham filter

 

Processed with Simply B&W and Camera+

Processed with Instagram 1.8′s Gotham filter

 

How did this work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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"Instagram: Recreating Gotham Using Camera+." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Problems Surfacing with New Instagram 2.0 Update http://lifeinlofi.com/2011/09/20/problems-surfacing-with-new-instagram-2-0-update/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2011/09/20/problems-surfacing-with-new-instagram-2-0-update/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:29:27 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=13044 As Nox Dineen has already reported, the new Instagram 2.0 update is out and it's got some pretty spiffy features. It's also got a few issues that are causing problems with Instgrammers.

"Problems Surfacing with New Instagram 2.0 Update." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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UPDATE 12.16.12: You might also want to take a look at our much more recent post, “Checking Out Some of the Not-So-Great Stuff in Instagram’s New Update”, to find out what’s wrong with the latest Instagram update 3.2.0.

As Nox Dineen has already reported today on Life In LoFi, the new Instagram 2.0 update is out and it’s got a new icon and some pretty spiffy features. It’s also got a few issues that are causing problems with Instagrammers. Some of the filters didn’t make the update, including the popular Gotham and Poprocket filters (there are plenty of other new filters, though).

Also, some users are reporting that after updating the app, their photos are uploading to Instagram as a black square. Instagram is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. In the meantime, click past the jump to read more, including some band-aid fixes until the update is released.

This is straight from the Instagram Support Center:

My photo uploads as a black square

This is a known issue on v2.0 that we are currently investigating. Restarting your phone should fix this problem until we are able to find a more permanent solution.  The problem seems to be related to applying linear tilt shift to photos. If restarting your phone doesn’t help, please refrain from using linear tilt-shift on your photos.

We’d appreciate if you could email Instagram with the following details about your photo-upload process so we can resolve this issue as soon as possible.

1) iOS version (open the Settings app, tap General > About)
2) Device type (iPhone4, 3GS, etc.)
3) Does restarting your phone help?
4) What filter are you using?
5) Was the photo from the library or taken in the app?
6) Did you use tilt shift on the photo? (If so, try uploading the photo without using tilt shift)

With the various issues with this update (and more sure to surface), holding off on updating is something to consider until 2.0.1 is released. If you’ve already updated to Instagram 2.0, you might be able to downgrade back to an older 1.x version of the app.

See our classic post, “How to Downgrade Apps on your iPhone” for more information.

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Thanks to reader Chase Masters for first posting this info on Life In LoFi’s Facebook page.

"Problems Surfacing with New Instagram 2.0 Update." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram 101: How to save your original images in Instagram http://lifeinlofi.com/2010/11/04/instagram-101-how-to-save-your-original-images/ http://lifeinlofi.com/2010/11/04/instagram-101-how-to-save-your-original-images/#comments Thu, 04 Nov 2010 14:50:10 +0000 http://lifeinlofi.com/?p=6465 The app saves processed images at a pretty small 612x612 pixels. One of the complaints about Instagram is that it doesn't save full size original resolution images. It actually does.

"Instagram 101: How to save your original images in Instagram." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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Instagram image iPhoneography

Instagram sample image. Click for full size.

 

UPDATE: Welcome to Life In LoFi, Android users. When this post was first written, Instagram was an iPhone-only app. With the recent release of Instagram for Android, these instructions may work in concept, but the location of the actual settings and the look of the screens will be different. I don’t have an Android device to update this post. If you’d like to share how this works on an Android, please shoot me an email. Thanks! =M=

Instagram iPhoneInstagram by Burbn is a new social photosharing app that makes it easy to snap photos, apply one of a dozen or so filters — most of them pretty good — and share it with your friends. Right now, it’s the number one free app in the photo section of the App Store, beating out the venerable Adobe Photoshop Express.

It’s got it’s own photosharing network and adds integration with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare, making it easy to upload images from within the app. If you like Foursquare or Gowalla, it’s a pretty fun and very visual way to check in. It’s like Foursquare with pictures.

The app saves processed images at a pretty small 612×612 pixels, which has drawn the ire of some non-users. The app isn’t designed for creating prints, though, it’s designed for sharing them and small file sizes use up much less bandwidth. 612×612 is a good size for photos that are only going to be seen and shared on a phone or a computer screen.

One of the complaints about the app is that it doesn’t save full size original resolution images. It actually does — the feature is just turned off by default and Instagram’s setting are hidden away pretty well. Here’s how to save your original photo as well.

instagram settings panel iPhone

Open the iPhone’s settings app. Scroll down until you find Instagram’s settings panel. Switch the Save original photo setting to “ON”.

Your original, high-res images will now be saved to your camera roll and you’ll have them to process with other apps.

I use Instagram, not to create gallery prints, but as a way to share snapshots with my friends. It’s a fun app.

Instagram is a free download.

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"Instagram 101: How to save your original images in Instagram." originally appeared on Life in LoFi: iPhoneography. © 2013 LifeInLoFi.com. All rights reserved.

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