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Archive for the ‘instagram’ tag

Six second videos — Twitter acquires Vine   3 comments

For the past two decades, social media has enabled people to keep in touch with loved ones, to reconnect with old classmates and friends, and to research floppy trunk syndrome (if you consider Wikipedia social media,which has been a hot debate with a fellow TurnKey team member… but I won’t mentions names), all from within the comfort of your home. It has also allowed us to write about our lives and share it with people all around the world, to find true love (or fake love, if you happen to play football at Notre Dame), and to fill our spare time with videos of cats, funny babies, and Gangnam Style-esque dances!

Lately, however, social media has been gradually encouraging us to condense the way we document our day-to-day lives. Social sites like Twitter allow short interactions and fleeting insights into the way people spend their time. Whether it is people you know or people you don’t, what people want to share of their daily existence has been captured in 140 characters or less.

A new form of this condensing idea recently sparked interest across the web and landed under the wings of Twitter. Its name is, simply, “Vine”. Now, let me take a second (or six) to tell you a little bit about Vine.

Vine is a free app that allows users to record video clips and edit them into a 6-second, repeating video (think your own easy, personal GIF’s, in a way!). Since Twitter recently acquired this company, you can easily upload and tweet your video to your followers. You can also share it with your friends on Facebook, if you please.

Vine says that this app makes “capturing life in motion fun and easy” and that it’s a “shortened form of something larger.” Now, I think this app is pretty cool, but I am not yet a consistent user. It took me a little while to get interested in Twitter, because I didn’t understand the whole constant-status-update deal. 1) Who has the time to do that all day? And 2) Whoever cares enough about what I am doing at all times—besides my mother—is crazy! I’ll admit, it wasn’t until a friend of mine forced me to sign up for a Facebook account about 6 years ago, that I ever really had interest in getting one.

To me, there are clear pros and cons to Vine and other apps like it. To start, Vine is very simple to use. That, right there, is probably the most important part. Second, it is a great tool to give people a quick insight into where you are, whom you’re with, and what you’re doing. It truly is a “shortened form of something larger.”

The Brooklyn Nets hopped on the Vine train right away, posting a video of a few of their players warming up. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video of Kris Humphries actually finishing a dunk is worth, well, 2 points. Actually, I’ll give him an and-one following his divorce with Kim Kardashian.

You can also be artsy or funny with Vine! In a way, it feels like a stop-motion video. I stumbled upon a Vine video of two men having a staring competition, and since it is a 6-second, ever-repeating video, I waited hours for a winner and ended up falling asleep before the battle was won.

Here is where I am critical: We have seen books “go digital”, and photography “go Instagram”. Now something as a beloved as home videos are “going Vine”—I was happy with stagnation at YouTube for a while. Like I said, the “shortened form of something larger” is great, but with Vine, we will never get to see the full picture, or in this case, video.

Another problem I see with Vine stems from that which we refer to as “selfies.” We all know what those are. It started with teenage girls on MySpace, and has become popular on Instagram. Some people love themselves so much that they feel the need to post 20 photos a day of them sitting in a car, then at a desk, then eating a salad, then with their cat, then in their new outfit, then in a mirror, then close up, then at a low angle, then at a high angle, then at a side angle, and then … well, you get the point. I feel like Vine will be another outlet for this, but on repeat! I do know it is my choice whom I follow, and I will definitely take that into consideration if Vine takes hold.

This is where I shall leave you! My question is: Will Vine really catch on? Is it the new Instagram in video form, or is it something that will come and go? As with any technology, it’s there for everyone to use, and the way in which we do so is what defines its future. I am just glad that Vine was not around when I was a child … It would have made it a whole lot easier for my parents to share embarrassing videos of me with my girlfriends.

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Instagram’s Disagreeable Service Agreement Update   4 comments

I am a huge advocate for Instagram. I think it’s a brilliant concept, on the part of its developers. I know that it has caused a lot of eye-rolling among many professional photographers, but I think it’s fun, okay? I like that relatively poor-quality, often blurry mobile uploads can look a little bit prettier, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. As an Android user, I was thrilled when the app opened to us. I no longer had to watch enviously as my not-even-close-to-artsy Apple friends tweeted and posted all of these artsy-looking pictures, and could join in uploading filtered food photos with the best of them.

I generally try to maintain a less personal, company-encompassing narrative in my TurnKey articles, but the topic that I want to discuss with you today has incited a reaction from me on a personal level, and I feel as though I should discuss it as such. I have an issue with Instagram’s amended Terms of Service.

Basically, Facebook (they own Instagram now, if you weren’t aware) is now asserting their right to sell your photos at absolutely no profit to you whatsoever, and it doesn’t stop there! They also declare a right to employ your image and personal information as they see fit. This is not okay with me at all. I understand that the app is free and Facebook wants to generate revenue and all that good stuff, but there are ways around this. Also—I have to say it—are you really losing that much money over Instagram, Facebook? You invested a billion dollars in a company that you are now this desperate to keep afloat?

Here’s an excerpt:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

Improper usage of photographic material is not a new thing at all, and maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive about this due to a background in photography. However, my pictures are mine, and if Facebook wants to use them, they need to ask me first. Regardless, it is not okay—and shouldn’t be okay—for them to use my personal material and information in a way that exploits me.

Usually, I tend to be rather neutral in regards to topics like this. I think they are largely sensationalized by the media, and that people fly into an uproar when it’s not completely necessary. For instance, Dave wrote a really insightful article about the Google vs. EU issue not too long ago, and I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with his stance. If you’re interested or need a refresher, you can read the article here.

Anyway, now we’re faced with a choice: do we just divert our gaze and allow them to do this, or do we wash our hands of Instagram? Do we log out of our accounts and set off into the great unknown, desperately seeking to fill the void in our once-filtered mobile existence? That may be a little dramatic, considering Twitter just rolled out replacement filters after the pull on syncing photos, but that’s another article entirely. Luckily, we have until January 16, 2013 to decide which road we want to take, as that is when the new terms go into effect.

Wouldn’t you know it? This all rolls out almost exactly at the same time that I set up TurnKey’s Instagram account, and I almost want to close it to protest! I won’t though, mainly because I’m border-line obsessed with this picture of a lollipop bouquet.

What do you think? Am I over-blowing this? Do you think this is fair and understandable or invasive and downright wrong? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Written by Emily on December 18th, 2012

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