Archives for category: Social Networks

Do you taking pictures? Do you like to make those pictures special by applying filters to them. Do you enjoy advertisers to skim your data and pictures and push ads to you? If you answered “yes” to the first 2 questions then you probably use Instagram. If you didn’t understand the last question then you may not have heard the big fuss about Instagram changing their privacy policy.

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.

Does that mean that Instagram is going to sell my likeness and photos? Here’s how the CEO of Instagram responds to that statement:

To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.
– Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO & Co-Founder

Be aware that these “free services” need to make money some way. If they are not going to charge you, then they are going to sell something to someone. The cheapest and easiest thing to sell is the data that the user is giving them. In this case it would be your likeness, pictures, meta details, etc. You may ask yourself, “But I thought the CEO stated he wouldn’t sell our pictures”. True he’s not going to sell your picture in the classic sense of the term “sell”. But Instagram is going to sell access to that information, so ads can be marketed to you. Advertisers and Brands will be able to have promoted pictures appear in your timeline, like how Twitter has promoted Tweets and Tumblr has promoted posts. How will Instagram use your data with this brands? Look no further than Instagram’s parent company, Facebook. If you like a company or are fans of company on Facebook, then you likeness and photos (profile pic) is used to show to your friends that, ‘Person A likes this, and they are your friend so you should too.’ Instagram is looking to do the same thing. For more information about how brands can use your Instagram pictures, check out a write up by Nilay Patel at The Verge.

TL;DR
Is Instagram bad for you? About as “bad” as any other company that you share information with. If you are fine sharing information, like pictures, with Facebook, then you’ll be fine sharing pictures with Instagram. They are the same company at the end of the day.

– Post Scripts & End Notes –
+ Instagram, Privacy Policy
+ Steve Kovach, Business Insider, Instagram Responds: ‘It Is Not Our Intention To Sell Your Photos’
+ Nilay Patel, The Verge, No, Instagram can’t sell your photos: what the new terms of service really mean

I questioned Twitter’s decision to block services that allowed users, like myself to create a archive of my tweets. Why would I even want that? I like having the access to the things that I put online. Creating my own archive gives me a sense of control, and having the ability to reference a tweet from months back was kind of nice. However weeks back Twitter became more harsh on developers using their APIs, which saw a lot of twitter services and apps shutting down. The one that affected me was the shutting down of Twitter services for IFTTT. IFTTT is a service that allows you to create rules, so if this happens then thiswill occur. I used it to backup all of my tweets in a Spreadsheet. A quick and painless archive of my random Twitter musings. But once Twitter shut down their APIs, my Twitter history was incomplete. However, for now, a small number of users are able to download their complete Twitter history.


I like the idea of being able to download a history of my tweets. But in my opinion the people who are going to be interested in this functionality of having a Twitter history are going to be power users. Power users who want an active history of their tweets. Not just a downloadable sheet or form, but a document that consistantly stays updated. Its a good start, Twitter, but what’s the next step in Twitter evolution?






[] Martin Bryant, The Next Web, Twitter has started rolling out the option to download all your tweets
[] Aaron Souppouris, The Verge, ‘Your Twitter Archive’ lets you download every tweet you’ve ever written, currently in small-scale testing (update)

When I heard about the new blogging platform, Medium, I was pretty excited. When I heard it was from the co-founders of Twitter, I signed up immediately. I love to write and I love the idea of writing. The idea of writing? Yes. Medium is more than just another Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress clone. In Silicon Valley talk its like Pinterest for writing. Not only do people write about particular topics but they are good at their craft so the posts are a joy to read. What appeals to me is that people are there for the writing, unlike a site like Tumblr or Pinterest or Instagram where you just want to see pretty things. Is something like Medium going to sway me away from having a personal blog? No. I believe there is still a space in the market and in people’s news feeds for personal blogs. Manufactured sites like where people plug their information into are nice, and work well for a lot of people. But there will always be the explorers and entrepreneurs who want their own space on the web, where they control what’s on the masthead. > Adrianne Jeffries, The Verge :: Blogging with Medium, The odd new product from Twitters founders

Facebook has announced a new feature that will make it easier to stay up to date what is going on with your school based on your school email address…wait…that seems kinda familiar.

{post scripts & end notes}
{1} – Nate Garun, “ Um, Wasn’t This The Original Purpose Of Facebook?

“Google has built a really cool house with a pool, theatre room, foosball, open floor plan, and a bar…too bad they can’t get anyone to come over”

That’s what I think about when I think of Google+, an awesome house that nobody visits. Here are some stats on Google+:

According to data from research firm comScore, Google+ visitors spent an average of three minutes per month on the site between September 2011 and January 2012. However, visitors to Facebook spent six to seven hours each month using the much larger social network.{1}

If you think that sounds bad, it gets worse…

on average from July 2011 to January 2012, Google+ visitors went to the site less than three times a month and spent about three and a half minutes there each time. Facebook visitors, on the other hand, ended up visiting Facebook about 21 times each month, spending almost 20 minutes each time they visited. This works out to a little over 10 minutes spent on Google+ compared to about 7 hours spent on Facebook.{1}

Google+’s layout is awesome. The features there are top notch. Hangouts is an amazing product that even works well on mobile devices. But all that hard works goes to the wayside if no one uses it.

When people think about parties from high school, they don’t talk about that small gathering of 4 people were they got a high score wii bowling. They talk about the one awesome party where there was randomly a goat in a hot tub. Right now, Facebook is that party.

Google had a few missteps into the world of social networking, but it’s not their fault because geeks usually don’t know how to throw a party. The way to throw a successful/epic/movie worthy blowout is not by only inviting your geeky friends and the guys from Games Workshop. No, it’s by inviting the hot girls and the popular kids. The popular kids are going to invite their friends. People want to be around attractive people. People want to be around the popular kids. They want to be at the awesome party. They don’t want to miss out.

The summer is coming, Google. Unfortunately if you can’t have an awesome house party by the end of the summer, then I think it’s time to move to a smaller house.

{post scripts & end notes}
{1} – Nathan Ingraham, “Data Shows Google+ Users Aren’t Yet Engaged” (28 February 2012)

At present, the promoted tweets and trends are only seen when you access the search pages within the app. Twitter have said though that initially only a small number of users will begin to see these tweets appear on their timeline from brands they follow.{1}

Apparently not only will the Android Twitter app have ads, but the iOS version as well. We had to know that ads in the Twitter stream were coming. Hopefully this doesn’t effect third-party Twitter clients such as Tweetbot for iOS or Seesmic for Android.

I don’t like the idea of being advertised to. Ben Brooks{2} thinks the sponsored tweets in the timeline is a necessary idea.

By injecting ads (I mean promoted tweets) into the timelines of their mobile apps, the company is (presumably) making money. When other third-party apps do not show those ads in the timeline, those apps are effectively reducing the eyeballs that see the ads, which in turn is devaluing the ad. Therefore, in order for Twitter to maximize revenue from the ads (oh, promoted tweets) that it interjects, all Twitter clients must show them.{3}

I understand what Brooks is saying, however, Twitter should offer a paid version of their apps or service. Think of it this way. When you watch network TV, during the shows there are commercials which help pay the bills. But not HBO. When you’re watching a show on HBO there are no commercials because it is a premium service. If I don’t want to be advertised to, I should be able to pay for an app so I don’t see advertisements.

{post scripts & end notes}
{1} – Richard Devine, “Twitter to Start Pushing Promoted Tweets in Main Timeline on Official Android app (28 February 2012)
{2} – Ben Brooks is the writer of The Brooks Review
{3} – Ben Brooks, “Promoted Tweets in Twitter for iPhone” (29 February 2012)

Pinterest used to be an incredible source for finding new, cool sites that you’d never heard of.
But now, with so many users, all anyone does is re-pin each other rather than pinning new material from around the web.

This is another case of early adopters not liking the growth of a particular site/social network. The same thing happened with Twitter and Facebook…

[endnotes]
SAI – Pintrest Already Isn’t Cool Anymore