"Instagram Stories" Puts Snapchat on Notice

Facebook has always shown signs of envy when it comes to its competitors. First hashtags and trending topics came. Then the ill-fated Poke app. Now, "Instagram Stories" are clearly inspired by Snapchat Stories (you couldn't even come up with a name other than Stories, guys?) and they sport the same features: 24-hour shelf life, doodles, text, and emojis. No word yet on filters or lenses, but it seems like it would be a huge miss to skip out on them. I imagine they will be introduced if this takes off.

I'll still be trying it out, though I am a bit skeptical that it will overtake Snapchat right away.

UPDATE: It looks like Facebook has been toying with this for a while. Just a few weeks ago a similar feature called "Quick Updates" was being tested with select users in the Facebook app itself. Today it launches in the Instagram app. Instagram seems like a more fitting home for this functionality, so I think this was a smart change on their part.

How to Be Instagram

riginally posted at All Things WOM.

What makes Instagram so special? Lately, it seems that every social network wants to be them. Ever since Facebook purchased the photo-based network in April 2012, interest in mobile social photo sharing has never been higher. Last month, both Twitter and Flickr announced new mobile apps, coincidentally both offering filter functionality very similar to that of Instagram.

Is @Instagram Good For Photography?

Is @Instagram Good For Photography?

I've always been fascinated by photography. When I was younger, my dad would show me the photos he took when he traveled across Europe as a bachelor. I always admired his natural talent for framing and capturing the best shots. Growing up, I always respected good photography and tried to emulate it, albeit without much success. I always owned some kind of camera and would go through phases when all I wanted to do was take pictures. In the last few years, as digital photography has really come into its own, I've gotten to know some pretty amazing photographers, both professional and amateur. And now that everyone carries a camera in the form of a cell phone, we're all photographers. But is this democratization of the artform necessarily a good thing?