June 21st, 2016

Plugin Lets You Upload Images to Instagram from Lightroom

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Instagram’s genesis as a mobile app has meant that basic desktop functionality, like image uploading, is often lacking and falls to third parties to develop. While there are many third party desktop uploaders, a new Lightroom plugin integrates Instagram publishing deeper into many photographic workflows.

Dubbed simply LR/Instagram, the free plugin lets you add Instagram to Lightroom’s publish service. Once you’ve authenticated your Instagram account, publishing Lightroom images is a drag-and-drop away. If you manage multiple Instagram accounts, you can set them up individually as their own publish collection in Lightroom.

The plugin supports your original image’s aspect ratio or the Instagram square crop. It also, naturally, supports hashtags and captioning.

While the plugin is free and compatible with Lightroom CC or v. 3.0 onward, its publisher suggests a $10 donation if you find it useful.

Hat tip: Digital Trends

 

June 17th, 2016

Study: Instagram Interactions Are Plunging

Interactions on Instagram–the numbers of likes and comments on photos and videos–have taken a massive hit this year, according to a new study released by research firm Quintly.

Surveying over 13,000 Instagram profiles of varying sizes, Quintly found overall interaction rates have dropped 27 percent since last year for image posts and and 39 percent for video posts. What’s more, Instagram users with large followers (defined as over 1,000 followers) saw the biggest hit.

Follower Count Graphic 01-4

Interestingly, this plunge occurred largely before Instagram began rolling out its highly controversial algorithm-driven feed in place of its chronological one. Instead, Quintly chalked up the declining engagement to a growing user base and increasing post frequency–there’s simply too much content for people to engage with. They also cited the growth of brand advertising, which may be alienating Instagramers.

Other takeaways from the Quintly research:

  • Video posts are 15 percent of Instagram timelines in 2016, up from a mere 5 percent last year
  • While interactions are down, they’re still higher than both Facebook and Twitter

It will be interesting to see what these engagement numbers look like after a few months of Instagram’s algorithmic massaging.

Read More:

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Confessions of a Social Media Influencer

How to Be an Influencer Without Being Unethical

What Should Photographers Charge for Social Media Usage?

June 2nd, 2016

Instamuseum Turns Instagram Accounts into Virtual Reality Galleries

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Many photographers carefully curate their Instagram feeds to give visitors a sense of their best work. A new app dubbed Instamuseum lets visitors to your Instagram page see your work in an even more rarified setting: a virtual reality art gallery.

Using Instamuseum, you can type in the user name of any public Instagram account. The app then converts those Instagram images into a 3D rendering of a virtual reality art gallery. Pop on a pair of VR goggles and you can explore a user’s Instagram account as if you were walking the halls of a museum.

The app supports several layout options and can only show up to 90 images at once, depending on your layout selection.

The galleries are viewable using Google Cardboard headsets or the HTC Vibe today with Samsung Galaxy Gear and Oculus support coming soon.

If you don’t have a headset, or don’t want to strap one to your head, you can still render the galleries in a web browser. See below.

Instamuseum for @guillermosainz
by guillermosainz
on Sketchfab

Via: Digital Trends

May 24th, 2016

4 Images for 99 Cents: Getty Signs Deal with ListaPost Social Media App

@ ListaPost

© ListaPost

Getty Images has signed an agreement to allow users of the ListaPost social media app to share and repost news, entertainment and sports images on social media for prices starting at $0.99 cents for four images, according to a press release from ListaPost. The ListaPost app lets users search Instagram for photos, save them to customized lists (without making screenshots), and turn them into slideshows for “publishing back into the social media landscape,” according to ListaPost’s statement.

Under its new content partnership with Getty, ListaPost users can browse and copy Getty’s more than 20 million editorial images into those slideshows. “Users have the option to share these slideshows externally via text, email, embeddable HTML pages and through a range of popular social media platforms.” In the press release, ListaPost co-founder Matthew Murray says users sharing Getty Images content can include individuals as well as “agencies, brands and social media influencers.”

Peter Orlowsky, Getty Images Vice President of Business Development is quoted in the press release saying that Getty is “excited to see how the market responds to ListaPost’s unique offering to Instagram users.”

Two years ago, Getty announced it was making its archive available free of charge to non-commercial users, as long as images were copied using an embed tool that collected data on the user, allowing Getty to push ads through the embed viewer without compensation to the user.

At the time, Getty seemed to be exploring a new source of revenue through advertising, while sidestepping the burden of pursuing online copyright violations by non-commercial users of its images. This latest business venture may be Getty’s attempt to reap fees for the use of its images on social media—by both commercial and non-commercial users. However, at a time when brands are hungry for new content for their social media feeds Getty seems to be selling its content at volume discounts.

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May 24th, 2016

What’s Next for Instagram: Facebook-Style Pay-for-Play

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Instagram’s evolution away from its care-free chronological feed into a tightly scripted, algorithmic money making machine continues apace.

As predicted, Instagram is getting ready to roll out Facebook-style post “boosting” that will increase content visibility in exchange for cash.

This and other new feature nuggets were unearthed by Elliott Murray.

After decompiling the newest update, Murray found a setting that would enable users to pay to have their Instagram posts seen more widely. If the experience with Facebook is any hint, users with a large following will see their reach diminish unless they pay up.

Murray also found new analytics features that will provide insights not simply to paying customers but, potentially, to ordinary Instagrammers as well. Instagram could also soon introduce a new type of page to better distinguish businesses from ordinary users.

None of these features are necessarily guaranteed to surface, or surface in the precise form sketched here. But given that they were found in the code base and jibe with the overall thrust of the app’s evolution, they seem like a pretty good indication of the general direction Instagram is heading, 400 million users in tow.

Hat tip: DL Cade

Read More

Confessions of a Social Media Influencer

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What Should Photographers Charge for Social Media Usage?

May 11th, 2016

Meet the New Instagram

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Change is the only constant at Instagram. The social network revealed today a brand new design that aims to put the focus more squarely on its users’ content. Oh, and there’s a new logo too.

“We stripped the color and noise from surfaces where people’s content should take center stage, and boosted color on other surfaces like sign up flows and home screens,” wrote Ian Spalter, Instagram’s head of design.

Spalter added that, “By paring down the new interactions and using standard iOS and Android components, fonts, and patterns, people will be navigating familiar terrain. We also redesigned our icons in a way that feels at home on Android and iOS.”

The redesign is available now for both Android and iOS platforms. Check it out, and let us know what you think of the new look.

April 15th, 2016

Instagram Dives Deeper Into Video

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Another day, another feature update at Instagram.

Today it’s video. Specifically, Instagram is updating the Explore tab in its app to promote videos. After you update the app, you’ll find a personalized “Videos You Might Like” channel that curates videos from across Instagram into a single location.

The Explore tab will also now have “Featured” channels with content grouped by specific topics. When you click on a video channel it will autoplay all the videos without looping, so you can binge watch one after the other without ever having to tire out your finger with excessive swiping.

Instagram’s Explore tab works a bit like Pandora, the Internet radio station. You “train” Explore by expressing preferences for the content being displayed and it’s a chance to be exposed to Instagram content even if you don’t follow the creator.

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March 29th, 2016

Instagram Videos Will Soon Be Longer

instagram-logo

With a vocal segment of its user base still smarting over changes to its feed, Instagram announced a new feature update that should be a bit more welcome: longer videos.

Coming “soon” Instagram will support videos up to 60 seconds in length. For iOS users, Instagram is also restoring the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll. (Here’s how.)

The iOS update with multi-clip functionality is available now. Longer videos are available for some accounts today and will be gradually rolled out to every user in the coming months.

Read More:

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March 17th, 2016

FTC Wrist-Slaps Lord & Taylor for Deceptive Instagram Campaign

Fashion blogger Cara Santana was one of 50 bloggers paid to post a photo of themselves on Instagram wearing the Lord & Taylor paisley dress shown here. The original Instagram posts did not disclose that they were paid ads.

Fashion blogger Cara Santana was one of 50 bloggers paid to post a photo of themselves on Instagram wearing the Lord & Taylor dress shown here. The original Instagram posts did not disclose that they were paid ads.

Lord & Taylor has agreed to settle federal charges that it deceived consumers by paying fashion “influencers” thousands of dollars each to promote its products on Instagram, without disclosing that the posts were paid advertisements. The retailer was also charged with deceiving consumers by placing a paid article in Nylon magazine without disclosing that the article was a paid ad, the FTC said.

The company’s actions violated federal trade laws against unfair or deceptive marketing. The settlement amounted to a slap on the wrist: The FTC reminded Lord & Taylor that it is prohibited from misrepresenting the sources of its paid ads. The FTC also told Lord & Taylor that it is required to ensure that “influencers” it pays to endorse its products clearly disclose when they have been compensated for those endorsements.

“Lord & Taylor needs to be straight with consumers in its online marketing campaigns,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a prepared statement. “Consumers have the right to know when they’re looking at paid advertising.”

Lord & Taylor got into trouble in March, 2015 over the social media campaign for its Design Lab collection. According to the FTC, the company gave 50 fashion influencers a free Paisley Asymmetrical Dress and paid them up to $4,000 each to post a photograph of themselves wearing the dress on their Instagram feeds. The company pre-approved the posts, and required the influencers who participated to include “@lordandtaylor” and “#DesignLab” in the posts.

“Lord & Taylor did not require the influencers to disclose that the company had compensated them to post the photo, and none of the posts included such a disclosure,” the FTC said in a statement. The posts reached 11.4 million Instagram users, leading to 328,000 brand engagements, according to the FTC, which notes, “The dress quickly sold out.”

Lord & Taylor’s violations occurred before the FTC explained last year in a policy statement how laws against deceptive marketing apply to so-called “native advertising,” or advertising that appears to be editorial content published by third parties. The policy statement addressed social media campaigns, and guidelines for advertisers to follow for disclosing paid endorsements that appear on social media.

Related:
What New Federal Trade Commission Guides Mean for Instagram Influencers

March 17th, 2016

Why Instagram Is Changing (Spoiler Alert: Money)

Photographers have reacted harshly to Instagram’s decision to uproot chronological posting in favor of an algorithmically sorted feed.

We don’t yet know how Instagram will look and feel in this new algorithmic era, but it’s pretty clear why Instagram is making the switch. It’s much less about giving you content you want to see (the stated reason) and much more about making Instagram the social network equivalent of a toll keeper. In short, it’s about money.

Take Facebook (please). The mammoth social network used to treat all content equally, serving up posts on a chronological basis without discrimination. If you followed an individual, media outlet or brand and they posted an update, it would populate into your feed, sorted by the time it was published.

Today, Facebook timelines are heavily managedeven manipulated–by the company. By deciding who sees what, when, Facebook can essentially hold status updates hostage, demanding ransom in the form of “boosting” a post for a fee or paying to take an ad. Brands and media outlets (not to mention non-profits) have seen their content hidden from followers, prompting them to either pay up or face declining visibility.

Given its ownership, we should expect Instagram to do the same. If you rely on Instagram to reach followers, especially for commercial purposes, you may need to add a line item to your marketing budget for Instagram advertising.

Of course, social media outlets aren’t obligated to serve as free mouth pieces for commercial enterprises or popular individuals. They need to make money just like the rest of us and while Instagram’s decision, like Facebook’s before it, reeks of a bait-and-switch, that’s life in the social networking age. (Although if you want a more pessimistic, downright worrying view of online manipulation, do read this.) Plus, there’s always Twitter. For now.

So what’s a photographer to do? Eric Kim suggests a return to blogging:

Eventually nobody will use Instagram (another social media app will come around. Or perhaps all Instagram users will flee to Snapchat). But once Snapchat becomes more like Facebook, people will flee to some other new service that doesn’t exist yet.

The only way to have any lasting impact as a photographer is the old school method: make prints, share them with friends, and print your own books (zines, print on demand books, or self publish yourself).

Take a hybrid approach: love both atoms and bytes. Don’t make it all one or another; shoot both film and digital, write emails and hand written letters, walk and drive your car, send your friends text messages but also meet them “in real life”…

The last point I want to make is the most interactive and flexible way to do “social media” is own your own blog….

I’m so grateful that I’ve had this blog for the last few years; it has helped open up so many possibilities, given me a voice, given me control over my content, and has given me a livelihood. I used to be suckered into thinking that Facebook was the future; now I realize it is just another social media app (just how MySpace was). I regret spending so much time on social media in general; I wish I spent more time blogging.

A world with more blogging? Yes please.