Netflix announces its first original feature film and Hong Kong protestors turn to new tools amidst record social media censorship in China. These stories, and more, in today’s Morning Social Media Newsfeed.
Instagram has added a video sharing feature to its app called Cinema. iOS and Android users can now use the app to create 15 second videos with 13 different filters. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom revealed the news in a press conference held in Menlo Park, CA today. ”This is the same Instagram we all know and love, but it moves,” said Systrom at the event.
The app lets you shoot and string together clips of video as you would on Vine. Unlike Vine, you can delete a clip in between shooting the video so that you don’t have to start all over again in the middle of making a video. The app also includes 13 new custom video filters that are designed specifically for video. “We needed something new for video, we wanted to evolve,” said Systrom.
The new video offering is designed to be simple and beautiful.”It wouldn’t be Instagram without being beautiful. We need to do to videos what we did to photos,” said Systrom. Read more
Who’s the Instagram of video? Instagram, of course.
Emily White, Facebook’s director of mobile partnerships, will now head business and partnerships at Instagram, according to a report from AllThingsD. The move indicates that the photo-sharing service is moving ever-closer to rolling out advertising and other revenue-minded features.
Instagram users can now access their photo feeds via the desktop Web, according to co-founder Kevin Systrom.
The company had hoped “to experiment with innovative advertising,” and blamed confusion over language in the new terms.
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom explained: “We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear. To provide context, we envision a future where both users and brands alike may promote their photos & accounts to increase engagement and to build a more meaningful following. Let’s say a business wanted to promote their account to gain more followers and Instagram was able to feature them in some way. In order to help make a more relevant and useful promotion, it would be helpful to see which of the people you follow also follow this business. In this way, some of the data you produce — like the actions you take (eg, following the account) and your profile photo — might show up if you are following this business.”
The letter concluded:
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.
This morning tech blogs and social media lit up with users reacting to changes to Instagram’s privacy policies, which some users took to give the company permission to sell user’s photographs to advertisers. Instagram has taken notice and has issued a response reassuring users that it is not claiming rights to their photos.
In order to speed up regulatory approval for Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, the parties sat down for a Fairness Hearing at the San Francisco offices of the California Department of Corporations. But Kevin Systrom failed to disclose in those meetings that Twitter had also offered to buy Instagram, according to a New York Times report.
Instagram has pulled its integration with the Twitter “cards” display format, making viewing Instagram photos on the microblogging site much less appealing. The move highlights growing competition between the two networks since Instagram was acquired by Facebook in April. Twitter has played the aggressor in other integration wars, also increasingly pushing for its content to be viewed on its own website, and few tech insiders publicly shed any tears for the company.
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Facebook Cleared to Issue Stock for Instagram Deal (The Wall Street Journal)
Facebook received approval Wednesday to use stock in its acquisition of photo-sharing application Instagram, clearing the way for a deal that has lost about a quarter of its value since an agreement in April. At a state hearing in San Francisco, Calif., to review the acquisition’s stock component, the California Department of Corporations found the deal to be “fair, just and equitable,” allowing Facebook to issue shares to Instagram. Los Angeles Times But Instagram founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom said in the hearing that he understood the ups and downs of the public markets and that the transaction is now worth more like $750 million. Business Insider The fairness hearing was the last regulatory hurdle the two companies had to face before the world’s largest social network could buy the hottest mobile photo-sharing startup. The companies opted to issue shares under California law rather than through the Securities and Exchange Commission, in part because it’s a faster process. San Francisco Chronicle
At the fairness hearing, Systrom was asked how his company made money, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s a great question,” the paper quoted Systrom. “As of right now, we do not.” AllFacebook The word on Wednesday was that Facebook could consider purchasing Waze, developer of a well-liked, free, community-based traffic-nav app. Waze has nearly 6,200 users talking about it and the app has garnered 126,000 likes. Read more