Posts Tagged ‘Social’
Instagram 3.0 was made available for download yesterday. The major release will be welcomed by the 80 million users who are sharing photos with friends via Instagram’s iPhone and Android apps.
Instagram 3.0 includes a variety of improvements and performance enhancements, but the goal of the release was clearly to improve, and re-imagine, the browsing and exploration experience.
During an interview with TechCrunch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described the new update:
“With every data release we’ve tried to shift our focus dramatically. Instagram 2.0, with its new filters, etc, was all about the user’s production experience. Instagram 3.0 is about a new kind of browser experience, Photo Maps. Photo Maps is such a fun way of re-descovering yourself, but not just yourself, all Instagram users”
Photo Maps, a feature of the member profile, provides an alternative map-based way to browse photo collections. The experience provides a new and fun way to browse other’s photos, but it’s also a fun way to rediscover some of your own photos.
Improvements like support for continuous browsing, and slightly larger grid photos will also be welcomed by the army of people that use Instagram on a daily basis.
Jon Evan’s TechCrunch post Dear Foursquare, Gowalla: Please Let’s Stop Pretending This Is Fun pretty much sums up the way I feel about Foursquare these days.
… Because they’re not giving us any good reason to use them. Look at their web sites. Gowalla proclaims, “Discover the extraordinary in the world around you.” Foursquare says, “Unlock your city.” To which I say: “Oh, come on“ — and it seems I speak for approximately 96% (formerly 95%) of the population. I have no interest in enlisting in a virtual scavenger hunt, or unlocking merit badges — what is this, the Cub Scouts? — or becoming the narcissistic “Mayor” of my local coffee shop. Thanks for the offer, but I’m afraid I already have some semblance of a life.
… If they want to reach the majority who don’t care about making it to Mayor, they need to abandon their pretense of fun, stop pussyfooting around with silly slogans, and make their value proposition stark, simple, and profoundly unsexy: “Check in and get coupons.”
Like Jon, I’m an early adopter. I started checking-in to my favorite eateries and coffee shops long before Foursquare was mainstream (my Foursquare profile) and Facebook launched their answer to Foursquare – Facebook Places. Initially, it was just about staying current with trends in the industry and satisfying my curiosity. Eventually, the game mechanics caught on and I found myself looking forward to things like the Superstar badge. Today, I find myself wondering why I even bother.
Foursquare really isn’t providing me with any value. It doesn’t help me connect with my friends, too few people in my social circle use it for it to be interesting on that front. It isn’t saving me money, here in Eugene Oregon there are few vendors who even know what it is. I spent ten minutes trying to explain the importance of my Mayorship status to the owner of my favorite Indian restaurant. I left that experience feeling a little embarrassed – I think he thought I was crazy – no discount, and no pat on the back for the Mayor. What am I getting out of this? I’m done with thinking badges are cool – well, mostly.
I expected Foursquare to pick up the pace after they closed the $20 million Series B round with Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz. I’ve seen few new features, and even fewer business development deals since they put the money in their coffers? What are they using the money for? Is Foursquare adrift? Did Facebook Places pull the wind from their sails?
I’ve used Facebook Places and I expect I’ll start using it more in the future. Facebook Places is already connected to my social circle and Facebook Deals (announcement) might just save me a few bucks. Right off the bat, Facebook’s value proposition is stronger.
If I were at the helm of Foursquare I’d be focusing all of my resources on doing as many national discount deals as possible. I’d make it supper easy for smaller vendors to claim their businesses and create special offers for their customers. I’d work to make sure Foursquare vendor profiles are well ranked in search results. Create the clear value proposition – and then make it easy for everyone to get a piece of it. If Foursquare can’t start providing their users with some value – they’re done.
Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch thinks Robert Scoble needs a FriendFeed intervention. Michael believes Scoble’s reputation as a "blogger" is suffering because he’s spending too much time on FriendFeed and Twitter and not enough time on his blog. On Twitter Robert has nearly 45,000 followers and has written over 16,000 messages. On Friendfeed Robert has nearly 23,000 subscribers.
What do I think? I applaud Scoble for risking his reputation as a blogger to put the wider social network and micro-blogging to the test. I think Scoble has increased his influence in 2008 by establishing himself (and his brand) on FriendFeed and Twitter. I don’t think it will take much effort on his part to get his Web 1.0 blog numbers back up again – if that’s what he wants to do. I think Arrington is probably jealous that Scoble (essentially a one man shop) has him beat on the FriendFeed and Twitter metrics. Arrington is probably looking at 2009 wondering how he can catch up ; )
Keep up the good work Robert! I think your investment in FriendFeed and Twitter will pay off.
Do you know You? The Plaxo Connections system asked me that question today and I got a laugh out of it. It’s a good question though in the context of the growing on-line “social” networking craze. How many of the Friends in your on-line social network really know You? Do you know You better as a result of the time you spend in on-line social networks? Unfortunately, I think most of today’s on-line social networks, make it dfficult for you and your Friends to know You.
If you haven’t heard about Google’s Open Social yet – you will shortly, it’s launching tomorrow. Mark Andreesen’s post today does a great job of summarizing what Open Social is all about. His social network company, Ning, is one of the participating “containers” so he’s a biased but I think his post benefits from his “insider” perspective. I’m interested to see how Facebook reacts. Will Open Social strengthen or weaken your Friendverse?
In a nutshell, Open Social is an open web API that can be supported by two kinds of developers:
- “Containers” — social networking systems like Ning, Orkut, LinkedIn, Hi5, and Friendster, and…
- “Apps” — applications that want to be embedded within containers — for example, the kinds of applications built by iLike, Flixster, Rockyou, and Slide.Source – BLOG.PMARCA.COM
Related and relevant:
Dare Obasango: OpenSocial: Google Proposes Widget & RESTful API Standards for Social Networking Sites “This is a brilliant move. – Dare Obasango”
Giga Om: OpenSocial, Google’s Open Answer to Facebook “OpenSocial attacks Facebook where it is the weakest (and the strongest): its quintessential closed nature. – Om Malik”
Anil Dash: Blackbird, Rainman, Facebook and the Watery Web “Think of the web, of the Internet itself, as water. Proprietary platforms based on the web are ice cubes. They can, for a time, suspend themselves above the web at large. But over time, they only ever melt into the water. And maybe they make it better when they do. – Anil Dash”
Mark Andreesen is back with another Open Social post today and this one includes an excellent screencast summarzing Open Social and what it’s going to do for social networks by providing a real-world example. Additionally, Google announced today that MySpace and Six Apart are joing the growing Open Social network.
comScore recently released updated Facebook metrics. The 25-34 age group is growing faster than any other group – 181% year-over-year. Obviously, open registration and a very developer friendly platform are contributing to this growth. The Facebook crew has managed to almost double their unique visitors year-over-year – 26.6 million visitors in May 2007. I’ve started building my Facebook profile. Have you?