Facebook accidentally launches then removes new Slingshot app
Facebook's new ephemeral messaging app, Slingshot, was accidentally released and subsequently removed from the App Store. Designed to be able to "share everyday moments with lots of people at once," users must send a return message in order to "unlock" a received message. Amongst other features, while viewing a message, a reaction can be sent by tapping the React button. Slingshot has no official release date.
Instagram adds additional photo editing tools
Instagram has released an update for its Android and iOS app, adding more photo editing tools. The photo-based social media platform now includes a new wrench icon when a user selects a filter for their image, which opens up a tray of editing tools. Warmth, saturation, brightness, contrast, highlights and shadows are among the new adjustment options available. Filter strength can now be adjusted by double-tapping, and images can be sharpened to make them more clear. The latest version of Instagram for iOS and Android can be downloaded through iTunes and Google Play respectively.
Executive unlikely to appear, or send legal representation
The Iranian court system is alleging that WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook - all owned by the latter company -- are violating the rights of privacy in the country. As part of the investigation, the sanctioned country has summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear and answer charges, a summons that the executive is likely to ignore.
Application blocked by court order after lawsuit filed over privacy concerns
Facebook-owned Instagram has been blocked in Iran, marking another social media block from the country this month. A different Facebook company, WhatsApp, was banned at the beginning of the month, stemming from Mark Zuckerberg's family heritage, which is Jewish. Instagram was also temporarily banned in the country for 12 hours last December.
Sceptre releases 32-inch LED HDTV in four different colors
Sceptre has announced the release of its newest 32-inch LED HDTV, as part of its Color Series. Available in pink, purple, white and black, the LED HDTV features three HDMI ports that deliver digital video and audio from external sources through single cable. Its USB port allows for viewing content directly from a flash drive, and its LED panel offers 720p, 1366x768 resolution. Weighing 12.32 pounds including its optional stand, the HDTV can be easily wall-mounted. Priced at $500, Sceptre's Color Series 32-inch LED HDTV can be purchased from various online retailers.
Zuckerberg reveals high user counts of social network in Oculus VR conference call
Facebook has 1 billion monthly active users, an increase from 945 million in December, the company has revealed. Part of a conference call discussing yesterday's announcement of Facebook's Oculus VR acquisition, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the figures for both the social network and Instagram, which has hit 200 million monthly active accounts after reaching 150 million in September last year.
Some users seeing Facebook Places info rather than Foursquare data
Facebook has started testing location information embedding, looking at integrating Facebook Places data into Instagram. Instagram currently uses Foursquare data for geotagging and attaching photo data to a location. Neither Facebook nor Foursquare have any comment on the matter, and a wholesale replacement of the photo tag data source doesn't appear to be underway in any more than a small scale test to a limited subset of users.
Social network introduces new rules for posts concerning regulated goods
Facebook is attempting to curb online sales of guns by updating its policy on user posts and pages on its social network. A number of "educational and enforcement efforts" were introduced by the company on Wednesday to both Facebook and Instagram, which will cover not only firearms but also discussions relating to other regulated item sales or services.
Kickstarter funded device shipping a year after estimated date
The successfully-funded Instacube, tagged as "as living canvas" that pulls photos from a user's Instagram feed in the campaign, will finally start shipping units in April to backers -- more than a year after the estimated shipping date. The product, which pulled $621,000 from backers on Kickstarter, was funded in September 2012.
New feature available on mobile apps
Instagram has introduced a new feature, Instagram Direct, that enables users to privately share messages, photos and videos. The announcement marks a shift from the company's previous system, which was designed solely for public sharing. Users can now choose to send content to another individual or groups of up to 15 people.
Photo repository FedExing printed wood slab to invitees
Instagram has used FedEx to send physical invitations printed on a wooden slab to press venues for an event in New York City on December 12. The media has been invited to "Share a Moment" with the Instagram team, including CEO Kevin Systrom, but no other details are apparent.
LG will add Android KitKat to G2 late in first quarter of 2014
The LG G2 will receive the latest version of Android early next year, allowing the device to skip past Android 4.3 entirely. Version 4.4 of the mobile operating system, also known as KitKat, will appear on the company's flagship smartphone late in the first quarter of 2014, or near the end of march, according to details passed from LG Canada to Mobile Syrup.
Popular picture sharing app to arrive on Microsoft's platform
Windows Phone users will soon be able to check off one more popular app as an inclusion on their platform, as Facebook's Instagram app is thought to be nearing a release. The popular image-sharing app has been sorely missing from the platform since Windows Phone 8's launch last year, but Nokia Power User claims that the URL http://instagram.com/download/windows/ now redirects to page in Microsoft's Windows Phone Store, indicating that the app has been submitted and will likely launch soon. The page in question, though, still shows a 404 error message when accessed.
JetBlue, Delta allow passengers to use devices at takeoff
Airlines JetBlue and Delta have announced that they will be allowing passengers to use electronic devices between the departure and arrivals gates, including at takeoff, according to Bloomberg. Shortly after the FAA changed the rules governing the use of such devices in a plane, JetBlue corporate communications manager Morgan Johnson posted an image of passengers armed with smartphones to Facebook, claiming its first flight under the new policy has flown successfully.
Refocus app allows for Lytro-style post-shot refocusing of image
A number of software updates for Windows Phone and Lumia devices have been announced at Nokia's media event earlier today. Apps such as Vine and Flipboard for Windows Phone were demonstrated running on Windows Phone, while a number of photography related updates for PureView devices were also revealed.
Forces users to watch clips in feeds
The most recent iOS update of Instagram removes an option to disable automatic video playback, users have discovered. The change wasn't mentioned in release notes. Without the toggle, video clips will attempt to play immediately whenever they appear in a feed; they do begin muted, however, and preloading can be limited to Wi-Fi.
Graph Search, new Messenger among plans
Facebook is preparing a series of major updates for its iOS apps, a source claims. The company's core app is slated to get access to Graph Search, a feature which lets people locate others with similar interests. The option should be integrated into the mobile app's search bar.
Rogers will not carry BlackBerry Z30 over limited store space
Canadian carrier Rogers is refusing to carry the BlackBerry Z30 in stores, citing that it can only "pick what we think are the biggest winners" to display on its limited shelf space. The Globe and Mail reports that it will still stock the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, suggesting it won't be going as far as T-Mobile, but a BlackBerry spokesperson revealed that competitors Bell and Telus will sell the Z30.
Instagram gains 50M users in last six months alone
Instagram is preparing to introduce advertising to the photograph sharing service and image editing app for the first time. A report claiming that it will be including advertisements within its app comes at the same time as the Facebook-owned image and video-sharing social network has broken the 150 million monthly active user barrier.
MixBit records 16 seconds of video, can create hour-long remixes
The founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, have launched their new video app. Revealed previously by Hurley on April Fools' Day, MixBit [Free, App Store] allows users to record between one second and 16 seconds of video on a smartphone, edit the videos, add content from others, and share the results online through social networks.
iOS app gets automatic photo straightening
Facebook-owned Instagram has issued an important update to its iOS and Android apps, v4.1. Both apps can now upload videos from a phone's library, instead of forcing users to record new clips. Once imported, library clips can be trimmed down to the right section, with adjustable square cropping so the right part of the image appears.
First official movie trailer using service's new video feature
A 15-second re-edited version of the trailer for the independent bioflick Jobs has debuted on Instagram, marking the first time the new video-sharing feature has been used to promote a cinematic movie. Much of the footage is repeated from the original high-definition trailer that debuted in June, but it does include several new shots despite the shortened length. The trailer, cut specifically for Instagram's 15-second video limit, features Ashton Kutcher as Jobs reciting lines from the "Here's to the Crazy Ones" ad over a montage of shots.
Instagram hosts photo gallery of celebrations
At least two major high-tech companies have issued statements supporting today's US Supreme Court decisions related to gay marriage, according to AllThingsD. "Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today," a message from an Apple spokesman reads. HP, meanwhile, is pointing to its history of supporting gay causes. "HP has more than 30 years of partnership with and participation in pride events, and works throughout the year to build and strengthen HP as an organization that values all employees, customers and communities," says Michael Thacker, the global communications chair for HP's Pride Employee Resource Group. "Our sponsorship at San Francisco Pride this year is a great example of how HP is committed to diversity and to creating a flexible, inclusive environment for everyone inside and outside of the company," Thacker's PR concludes.
Peak uploads hit 40 hours per minute during NBA finals
Instagram has enjoyed a successful launch of its video feature, with users uploading 5 million clips within the first 24 hours of it being available to use. The new addition to the app, providing similar functionality to that of Twitter-owned Vine, caused Facebook servers to receive 40 hours of video footage per minute at its highest point, with the win of Miami Heat over the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA finals the cause of the peak usage.
Vine adds new features, social integration
The Android version of the video sharing app Vine saw an update on Saturday, bringing it to version 1.1.0. The new update adds integration with Facebook, as well as the ability to search for specific users and hashtags. It also brings performance improvements meant to bring the Android Vine experience to parity with the iOS version.
Instagram directly competing with Vine, records 15 seconds of video
Facebook has used its media event to show off an update to Instagram that adds video to the service. The new addition to the app, putting it directly against short video service Vine from Twitter, will allow users to record up to 15 seconds of video, with the option to add various filters and edits to the freshly-recorded footage.
Android app gets grids, better upload quality
Instagram has launched a new service feature, "Photos of You," through updates to its iOS and Android apps. The option lets people tag others in their photos in a manner similar to Facebook; the collected photos will eventually appear in a Photos of You profile section. The tagging also works for corporate brands.
Company cites lack of staff, development issues
According to reports, a BlackBerry 10-native version of the photo sharing and manipulation service Instagram will not appear. One source told AllThingsD that "there will be no [native] Instagram for BB10 for now. Frankly, I’m not sure there will ever be." An Android-based port is allegedly underway.
Web interface duplicates all of the mobile app's features and functions
Enhancing its universal device compatibility, Instagram today unveiled a web-based version of its newsfeed. The new option is available now, and it allows scrolling through a list of photos posted by accounts followed by the user. Profiles are clickable on the new interface, allowing the view of more associated pictures.
Missing apps timetable for arrival not known, may be distant
Despite a strong launch with 70,000 applications available, there are some notable holdouts on the new BlackBerry World store. A BlackBerry spokesperson told AllThingsD that it is "in talks" with both Instagram and Netflix for future inclusion in the ecosystem. Also missing are Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, and a dedicated YouTube application. No timeline for addition was provided, and the spokesperson said that they "could not confirm when those apps will make their way into the store."
California-filed suit claims breach of contract, privacy violations
A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed in San Francisco Federal Court on Friday, the first civil lawsuit prompted by the flip-flop in Instagram's terms of service over the last week. A California Instagram user is accusing the photo repository of breach of contract along several other claims relating to privacy and user data. Instagram has not commented on the suit.
Free three months Pro usage includes unlimited uploads
Photo-sharing site Flickr is offering its free users an upgraded trial membership at no charge for a limited time. Messages sent to users under the subject line "Merry Flickr" state that users will gain three months of access to Flickr Pro automatically, and comes shortly after Instagram caused a public outcry by altering its terms of service to reveal that the company could use members' content in advertising.
Original user agreement language not largely different than revision
As a result of immense public pressure and fallout over its new advertising policy, Facebook-owned Instagram has shifted its policies again. This time, the photo archival and modification service is rolling back its privacy and other policies to the original state. The rollback changes the policies to what existed prior to the reveal last week, that seemed to allow Instagram's ability to sell user photos uploaded to the service for advertising with little or no notice to the photographer.
Internet backlash sends Instagram back to drawing board
Following outrage from some segments of the Internet over new language in Instagram's updated Terms of Service, the Facebook-owned photo sharing service has issued a response aimed at clarifying its new terms. In a blog post, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom sought today to assuage user concerns over the possibility that their photos might be sold by Instagram without their permission. The company, according to Systrom, is working on updated language to clarify its terms.
Instagram to use metadata to serve ads, reserves right to use photos
Popular photo sharing service Instagram updated its terms of service this week, giving Instagram expanded rights to monetize content its users upload and to serve them ads. The new terms are part of Instagram's ongoing shift toward monetization, as Facebook, which bought the service for $1 billion earlier this year, looks to capitalize on that purchase. Instagram describes the terms as "part of our new collaboration" with Facebook and says they are meant to bring about "better experiences for our users."
Cold war with Facebook-owned Instagram continues to escalate
In a day shadowed by the wide reveal of Instagram's withdrawal of its tight Twitter integration, the micro-blogging service rolled out its own in-house mechanism to apply color filters to user-uploaded pictures. Twitter's filters are powered by New York-based Aviary, developer of image-editing software for the photo-sharing service Flickr.
Twitter card support totally dropped as social site fight intensifies
Photo sharers who operate across both Twitter and Instagram likely woke this morning to find that the hand-in-glove interoperation of the two sites has come to an end, as Instagram finally cut off support for Twitter's Twitter card feature. The Twitter feature that displays an image of shared photos within the Twitter stream will now show a blank white space when a photo is shared from Instagram. The photo sharing site's decision to kill part of its compatibility with Twitter epitomizes the growing competition between the two sites, a competition that has only intensified since Facebook bought Instagram earlier this year.
Instagram CEO says Twitter integration will stay
Instagram removed its service's compatibility with Twitter's Twitter card feature today, highlighting the tension that has grown between the two networks since Instagram was purchased by Facebook earlier this year. An update from Twitter earlier today pointed out that Twitter users were having problems viewing Instagram photos on Twitter due to Instagram having disabled its Twitter card integration. The change means that Instagram photos appear now appear cropped until they are viewed in Instagram's web portal. Meanwhile, Instagram's CEO maintains that the company still has a close relationship with Twitter.
Instagram begins rolling out web profiles
In a new blog post Instagram has announced that is beginning to roll out web profiles. Web profiles will feature a selection of a user's recently shared images, as well as basic profile information. Through the web interface user's can follow other photographers, like photos, and leave comments. Profiles will be rolled out over the next few days and are expected to be completed for all users by next week.
New comScore data puts Instagram at 7.3M/day
Instagram has surpassed Twitter in terms of daily active mobile users, according to new figures out today. The new figures come from comScore, which says in its new mobile measurement report that Instagram, recently purchased by Facebook, averaged 7.3 million daily active users in the month of August, while Twitter averaged 6.9 million over the same period. The research firm's figures also showed that Instagram users are spending more time interacting with the service than are Twitter users.
Deal completed after regulatory approval
The purchase of Instagram by Facebook has finally completed. The deal, initially worth $1 billion but now slightly devalued, sees staff from Instagram moving into Facebook's offices, with Facebook VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer claiming the company is "committed to building and growing Instagram independently."
Move follows release of deal by UK Office of Fair Trading
In a 5-0 vote, The Federal Trade Commission has voted to close the investigation of Facebook's acquisition of Instagram. The FTC has chosen to do nothing to block or otherwise hinder the merger, but reserves the right to "take such further action as the public interest may require." Mark Zuckerberg claims that Instagram will still share content out to non-Facebook sites, and it would still be possible to add and share with friends who aren't connected even after the merger.
Instagram gets geotagging maps, interface tweaks
Facebook-owned Instagram has released a major update of its app for iOS and Android, v3.0. The biggest addition this time around is the Photo Map, which appears on a person's profile. This lets users browse images by where they were shot, so long as a photo has geotagged information associated with it. Grid and Chronological views are available, and selecting a stack of photos allows navigating through a collection; if the collection is a user's own, images can be deleted.
Designer shares his vision of what a dediacted Facebook phone could look like
A talented designer has shared images of his vision of what a Facebook-dedicated phone would look like on Yanko Design's website. Tolga Tuncer envisions the phone to have blue plastic and aluminum construction, with a 'Like' button taking the place of the where the Home button usually resides. The concept is tall and thin, however, measuring in at about 6.9 by just under 2.2 inches.
Storms in North Virginia takes out Amazon data center
Netflix, Instagram, and other web services were hit by an Amazon Web Services outage. Historic thunderstorms in Northern Virginia caused power outages for Amazon data center in the region, forcing services depending on EC2 from it to be severely affected, with Netflix in particular suffering considerable amounts of downtime.
Instagram for iOS gets UI tweaks, speed enhancements
Instagram for iOS (Free, App Store) has received its first major update following Facebook moved to acquire the start up in April for $1 billion. The update includes some tweaks to the UI with a revamp of the Profile tab as well as getting the addition of an Explore section, which replaces the Popular tab. The latest Facebook tie-in is the integration of Likes, which is also linked to Facebook’s Open Graph.
OFT concerned over picture uploads, competition
The UK Office of Fair Trading is reportedly planning to investigate Facebook's Instagram purchase, which is valued at $1 billion. According to The Guardian, the OFT is attempting to determine if the acquisition will prevent picture uploads to other sites, such as Twitter, or prevent competing apps from uploading to Facebook altogether, however the agency is still said to be deciding whether or not it has jurisdiction over the takeover.
Utility takes inspiration from Instagram
Facebook has launched its own camera app for the iPhone (free, App Store), complementing the social network's existing iOS utilities. Following on the heels of the company's recent Instagram buyout, Facebook Camera provides a photo editor that can be used to crop shots or apply various filters.
Investigation is described as 'routine' for value
The US Federal Trade Commission is launching a competition investigation regarding Facebook's recent $1 billion buyout of Instagram, say two sources for the Financial Times. The effort has allegedly already begun, with the FTC starting to collect information from "at least two" of Facebook's biggest competitors. The probe is described as routine for deals worth more than $68.2 million, but could delay the Instagram acquisition well past when Facebook told investors things would be completed.
Flickr Uploadr goes HTML5 for web images
Flickr revamped the web version of its Uploadr tool on Wednesday. The new version has switched to HTML5 with a more natural drag-and-drop interface to load photos. Making the switch now lets Flickr show thumbnails, like the native desktop and mobile apps, as well as reorder images, tag friends, and otherwise handle most tasks that would have needed to wait until afterwards.