December 21, 2012 § 1 Comment
Instagram heard us! In a blog post late Thursday, the popular mobile photo-sharing service says it has withdrawn the controversial changes to its service agreement:
Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010. You can see the updated terms here.
They have reverted to language in the advertising section of its terms of service that appeared when it was launched in October 2010.
Their blog post reports that it will now ask users’ permission to introduce possible ad products only after they are fully developed.
Instagram was reacting to the outcry from users who launched a barrage of negative feedback, account cancellations, and defections by its users to other photo sharing services. As Instagram reviewed their policy, subscriptions to competing services have spiked, according to a report in the New York Times. Flickr’s mobile app has jumped in popularity on the Apple iTunes app chart, and subscriptions to the photo sharing service Pheed have quadrupled in the past week, the Times reported.
We reported earlier on Instagram’s proposed changes. Changes were anticipated when Facebook acquired Instagram for a $1 billion earlier this year.
- Facebook’s Instagram reverts to original ad policy after outcry (blogs.marketwatch.com)
- Instagram Reverts to Prior Policy on Ads (techland.time.com)
December 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
I really love Instagram. Apparently, others do as well. There have been 5 billion photos shared through the network. But there are new Instagram policies brewing giving marketers and personal users some things to think about.
Remember that Facebook bought Instagram for a measly $1 BILLION recently and then we all started having problems with our Instagram photos on Twitter because Instagram had disabled Twitter integration. These new policies seem to hint at adding advertising to Instagram.
So now, what’s up with the policies that go in place on January 16, 2013? Apparently they will not apply to photos shared before this date. Instagram says that the new policies would primarily help the company combat spam, which has grown along with the popularity of Instagram. The new policies will not alter how it handles photo ownership or who is able to see the pictures.
Here’s five important considerations that the New York Times reported today:
1. Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers. They say it’s to make functionality and sharing easier between the two groups. But certainly this information will inform targeted advertising for Instagram when and if that happens. And allow Facebook advertisers access to Instagram information. So, this is probably good for marketers.
2. You could be featured in advertising without your knowledge, just like Facebook does now. Instagram will also be able to use your photographs and identity in ads. The “Rights” say “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.” So let’s say you upload a picture to Instagram of yourself and others who are not users of Instagram or Facebook. Bam! They may be in an ad along with you. Maybe not so good for users or marketers if the images are not appropriate.
3. The unsolicited use of photos applies to underage children as well. Instagram requires that users must be at least 13 years of age, but the new policy states that they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads. This use of underage children is troubling. Not so good for marketers.
4. Ads may not be labeled as ads. There may be no disclaimer that says you are viewing an ad. “You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such,” says the new Instagram policy. Maybe okay, but does not smack of transparency.
June 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
In the face of speculations about the waning health and wealth of social media, the darlings of growth Pinterest and Instagram seem to be skyrocketing in popularity. Instagram has grown to 30 million users. Pinterest has moved from obscurity to the third most popular social network in terms of total visits behind Facebook and Twitter. Comscore reported Pinterest had 18.7 million users in March 2012. And of course, more than 80% of all users are women. So what’s up with these upstarts?
Photos are important to all of social media. Even Facebook will tell you that their community uploads 250 million photos a day. The importance of images led Facebook to purchase Instagram for $1 billion.
Images rule. Yes, we love to use images to tell our stories. They are provocative. They inspire. They communicate. They are worthy of sharing. Images are at the heart of social media. Infographics have helped explain the unexplainable to us. One interesting aspect of Pinterest is its wonderful ability to share inspiration and ideas. Whether it is a hairstyle, a biting quote, or an image of a remote getaway, it takes us someplace else. I love what Bianca Bosker says about the self-aggrandizing noise of some social media:
“In short, too many of our posts come with the silent subtext “Here’s how great I am.” On Pinterest, the tone seems to be ‘Wouldn’t this be great?’ “
Everything about our culture revolves around arresting images. Even Target‘s successful advertising campaign depends on a graphic design approach to advertising.
According to Shawn Graham at Fast Company: “Pinterest’s rapid ascent into the social strata has reemphasized something we’ve known since the day the first camera was invented way back in the 1800s — pictures matter.”
So what should we do? Embrace images.
1. Invest in the time to create images that tell your corporate story. Look at all of your visual assets and create an image strategy for social media.
2. Experiment with Instagram and Pinterest as a marketing tool. Create virtual tours, highlight images of your products and services, show product usage, highlight inspirations for your consumers, and provide helpful tips and hints for users.
3. Remember keywords are important to images as well. Make sure you put in captions and descriptions that make your images fun to find.
4. Investigate new marketing tools like Luminate that make images interactive.
March 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Am I getting a new iPad? Of course, I am, as soon as the crowds die down. Technology is all around us and in our purse. In 2009, only 22% of Moms had a smartphone. Well, today, two-thirds of moms have a smartphone and it is an appendage to our bodies. Some 40% of tablet users are women, and their kids. You see, over half of all tablet purchases are made by households with children under 18, according to Forrester Research. And that does not include e-readers like Kindles, where women dominate, 63% women versus 37% of men owning them. Some 80% of tablet users have made a purchase on their tablet, and its not all apps, books and music. Seven in ten children under 12 in tablet households use them regularly.
How is this ubiquitous technology changing things for families?
•We can keep up with our children, both small and grown, anywhere in the world or down the block.
•Information is accessible to us 24/7, so students and adults don’t have to memorize as many things. Even encyclopedias are all online. No more end tables or bookshelves made out of Encyclopedia Brittannicas.
•Backpacks can shrink and purses enlarge, because textbooks are accessible on tablets, improving the posture of adolescents. Our children carry a library around in their backpack, thanks to online resources.
•Education online is becoming the norm, fueled by apps.
•Shopping is online, offline and peer recommended. And “never pay retail” is the mantra of moms.
•The tablet is becoming the “fourth screen”, following the television, computer, and smartphone.
•Power up is not a sport drink; its the lifeline to all of our gadgets, requiring our cars, our offices, our homes, our airports, our coffee shops to offer charging stations, wifi and our beverage of choice.
•Television may not longer be a stationary or lonely activity – with programming mobile and social.
•And even are Bible studies are richer, because our churches are studded with iPad users who look up scriptures in various different translations from just one device.
My Mom never owned a computer or a cell phone. My daughter has never known a time without a computer or a cellphone. And kids today will never know a time without wifi, tablets and interactive media. Heck, coffee tables may go away too. Who needs them to hold up magazines anymore?