Instagram's latest user numbers are sure to make Facebook a proud new papa.
More than 50 million people are now using the popular site and its mobile apps to upload and share photos with fellow users and friends. Instagram didn't officially release the news. The company's Press Center Web page still lists the number of registered users at 30 million.
Instead, the latest figure was obtained by tapping into the site's application programming interface, according to CNET sister site ZDNet. Instagram is apparently adding around 5 million new users per week.
Uploading photos to the Internet is about the least exciting part of photo sharing that you could imagine, but Flickr believes a new tool for the task will improve the site dramatically.
The new upload tool, set to arrive this morning, replaces an interface that's remained largely unchanged for years: select multiple photos, watch transfer progress bars crawl across the screen, then add titles, tags, and captions.
The new tool, which runs in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari for now and will support Internet Explorer later, uses new standards such as HTML5's drag-and-drop so that you can copy image … Read more
Instagram seems to be on a mission to add hipster photo filters to all your mobile devices this week. First, the long-awaited Android version of the popular iPhone app dropped and quickly racked up over a million downloads, and now an update opens up support to tablets and Wi-Fi devices in the Android universe.
The news is more salt in the wound of scorned iOS users who were apparently under the impression that their Vegas honeymoon with Instagram would live forever, but times are changing and it doesn't make sense for many apps to be monogamous these days. … Read more
Dropbox, the popular cloud storage utility for synchronizing files among many devices, ordinarily limits free accounts to 2GB, but those who test a new feature to automatically upload photos can get as much as 4.5GB.
To take advantage of the offer, you have to run a beta version of the company's software, and you have to try a feature that automatically uploads photos and videos to the service, according to a forum post yesterday.
"During this beta period, we are also offering additional free space to test automatic uploading of photos and videos. For every 500MB of … Read more
Google has released Google Earth 6.2 to smooth over earlier versions' unsightly patchwork caused by stitching together widely varying satellite photographs.
The result is a more realistic and less distracting (though still optimistically cloudless) view of the planet. Update: It turns out that by turning on the weather layer, you can dispel Google Earth's sunny optimism and see if it's really cloudy by showing live weather data.
Google Earth offers a terrific interactive view of the planet, complete with 3D buildings in some parts of the world. But I have to say, though, that I was more … Read more
Yahoo has changed its Flickr Pro premium service into a subscription plan, a modest but reasonable change that I hope presages bigger adjustments to compete better against new photo-sharing rivals.
Flickr, a fixture in online photography, has lost luster as alternatives such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and 500px have advanced the state of the art and attracted millions of users. Flickr is shucking old baggage as part of a promise of new vitality in 2012, though. And although the new Flickr Pro pricing scheme is hardly a dramatic new course, at least it shows somebody's at the tiller.
Watch out, Facebook, because Google+ just got the feature that will wipe you off the social-network map.
I'm talking about a LOLcat text generator.
"Today we're rolling out a feature that makes it easier to add big, bold text on top of your photos," programmer Colin McMillen said in a Google+ post today. "To try it out, drop a photo into the sharebox on Google+, then click the "Add text" button underneath the photo. Type in something funny, then share and enjoy."
OK, so maybe it won't dent Facebook's dominance, … Read more
Google launched WebP to outdo JPEG. Now a new version is designed to take on another dominant graphics format on the Web, PNG.
WebP is based on the open-source compression technology used in Google's WebM video encoding technology, and with it, Google hopes to reduce Web page file sizes and thereby speed up the Net. There are plenty of challenges for the technology, but Google just made WebP a bit more competitive through the addition of two major features.
First is a "lossless" compression option that can image data without loss of fidelity. Second is support for … Read more
That's what Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn is telling people with his new startup, RNKD, which is aiming to dole out rewards to people who share with the world photos of what's in their wardrobes.
The idea behind RNKD, which launched today, is fairly simple. Swinmurn, who came up with the idea for what eventually became Zappos, and who got eventual CEO Tony Hsieh to invest, wants to help brands learn more about shoppers' tastes. And Swinmurn thinks that the best indication of their future behavior is their past actions.
Updated September 9, 2011 with comment from Adobe.
When Adobe asked users about their photo sharing-pain points, it generated some buzz about an expected cloud solution. And today it delivered. Adobe Carousel automatically uploads, stores, and syncs photos from all your devices--as long as they're from Apple--and lets you create shareable galleries (Carousels). When shared, you and they can edit and apply special effects to the photos nondestructively.
It sounds neat on the surface, and it's based around solid goals--"People want ubiquitous access to photo libraries; to browse, adjust, and share all their photos from anywhere; to share a photo library with friends and family; and simple, easy-to-live-with setup."
But I think there's an unstated goal here as well. Photoshop.com already meets a lot of these needs and the company could likely have been extended the back end with the syncing technology; unfortunately, Adobe can't leverage the site because it's completely partly Flash based, so it can't run on the iPad or iPhone. Thus, Adobe's need to start from scratch. Adobe comments: "The team did not start from scratch to build Carousel. The backend of Photoshop.com provides some of the infrastructure that supports the digital imaging mesh that Adobe Carousel uses. There are also some things that Photoshop.com can't do which is why we developed the DI mesh platform."… Read more