Instagram Launches IGTV App For Long Videos

Instagram has launched a mobile app on Wednesday called IGTV dedicated to user-generated videos up to an hour long, intensifying the competition for consumers’ time among ad-supported streaming services such as YouTube.

The service plans to feature videos from rising internet celebrities, artists and pets, some of whom have tens of millions of social media followers.

“Teens are now watching 40 percent less TV than they did five years ago,” Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said at an event to announce the launch in San Francisco. “It’s time for video to move forward and evolve.”

Facebook shares rose 2.3 percent on Wednesday to $202.06 after earlier crossing the $200 mark for the first time. Instagram, which was founded in 2010 as a photo-sharing app, has surpassed 1 billion users, Systrom said.

Tech firms such as Facebook, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube and Snap Inc’s Snapchat have been spending heavily to grow mobile video services that will attract both users and corporate brand advertising.

Courting stars to post videos is part of their strategies. Instagram said it has signed up personalities such as Lele Pons, who has 25 million Instagram followers, for IGTV.

Pons said she did not plan to choose sides between two of Silicon Valley’s largest companies. “I’m still going to be posting on YouTube as well as on Instagram,” she told reporters. Facebook on Tuesday launched a separate effort to lure video makers away from YouTube, offering ways to make money on the Facebook app. YouTube said it plans to update its commercialization options this week. Instagram does not immediately plan to share revenue with video creators but may in the future, Systrom said. IGTV will be available as part of Instagram’s app and as a separate app, he said.


The service does not have advertising at launch, but research firm eMarketer said it expects it will have ads eventually, and that marketers in the meantime will sign up stars for endorsement deals.

As social media “influencers” have gained popularity, “I only wonder why it took Instagram so long to roll this out,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said. Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1 billion, has grown by adding features like messaging and short videos. In 2016, it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, a copy of Snapchat’s popular “stories” feature.

Instagram Removes Posts To Favour Deputy Prime Minister Sergie Prikhodko Of Russia

Instagram has received a lot of backlash from the citizens of Russians following an accusation that the photo app is helping bury evidences that prove Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko enjoyed luxurious hospitality from billionaire tycoon Oleg Deripaska.

According to reports Instagram removed the post which was meant to form part of an investigation published last week by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, alleging that Prikhodko had vacationed on Deripaska’s yacht off the coast of Norway.

Russia’s communications watchdog has said it asked photo sharing website Instagram to remove posts that allegedly show  The site, which is owned by social media giant Facebook, obliged to the request on Thursday.

Both Prikhodko and Deripaska have denied the allegations.

Kremlin critic Navalny decried Instagram’s decision to comply with Russian authorities. In a rare tweet posted in English, Navalny wrote:

“@instagram decided to comply with Russian illegal censorship requests and deleted some content about oligarch Deripaska. Shame on you, @instagram! This content was spotlighted by our corruption investigation.”

The videos were reportedly recorded and uploaded by a woman called Nastya Rybka, who said she was hired by a modeling agency to spend time on Deripaska’s yacht. Rybka, who worked as an escort, also claimed she had an affair with the aluminum magnate.

A 25-minute video of Navalny presenting the investigation in Russian was also uploaded to YouTube last week, where it has already amassed some 5 million views.

As of Thursday, the video still remained online, although Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said it had issued a request to Google to delete the video.


Facebook, Instagram Declare War On Revenge Porn

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, has announced that the platform will unveil tools that will prevent revenge porn from being circulated. Revenge porn is the circulation of explicit images, videos that were shared between two people in public space as a way of seeking revenge.

In a post on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg said the platform is focused on building a community that keeps people safe.

“We’re focused on building a community that keeps people safe. That means building technology and AI tools to prevent harm.

“Today we’re rolling out new tools to prevent “revenge porn” from being shared on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

“Revenge porn is any intimate photo shared without permission. It’s wrong, it’s hurtful, and if you report it to us, we will now use AI and image recognition to prevent it from being shared across all of our platforms.”

In April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, a picture sharing platform, for $1 billion.

Zuckerberg founded Facebook alongside four Harvard roommates in 2004.

Facebook Rewards 10-yr-old With $10,000 For Finding Instagram Security Flaw

Earlier this year, a 10-year-old — who is not even old enough to sign up on Facebook — impressed Mark Zuckerberg by hacking Instagram, the photo-sharing application owned by Facebook.

The Helsinki-based boy genius, called Jani, received $10,000 from Facebook for identifying a security bug, Forbes reported.

Jani uncovered a flaw that allowed him to delete any written content on the social media platform by altering the code.

“I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber,” the wunderkind told Finnish publication Iltalehti.

An aspiring security expert, Jani sent his discovery to Facebook via email.

He verified his report by deleting a comment the company posted on a test account, a spokesperson told Forbes.

The bug was resolved at the end of February. In March, the tech giant informed Jani of the fix and gave him his monetary reward.

Jani plans to use the reward to buy a new bike, football gear, and new computers for his brothers, he said in the interview with Iltalehti.

He ousted a 13-year-old to become the youngest ever recipient of Facebook’s bug bounty program, which offers rewards to people who identify and report legitimate security risks.

Since it launched in 2011, Facebook’s bug bounty has awarded over $4.3 million to more than 800 researchers.

The program determines the payout based on a bug’s risk, rather than how complex it may be.

In 2015 alone, 210 researchers received $936,000 with an average payout of $1,780.

Instagram Increases Video Recording Time To 60 Seconds

Two months after letting advertisers extend their videos to 60 seconds, Instagram is granting the same privilege to regular users.

Instagram videos, which have been limited to 15 seconds since they were introduced in June 2013, can now extend to a full minute.

Like its corporate parent, Instagram has been gradually transforming its feed from a stream of static images to a more lucrative collection of videos.

In the past six months, the time Instagram users spent watching videos has increased 40 percent, the company says.

Instagram has helped that along by adding public view counts, which spur publishers and advertisers to make more videos.

The company also began collecting top videos around special occasions and promoting them at the top of the feed, Snapchat-style.

Today’s update for Instagram on iOS will also return a useful tool to creators: the ability to create a video using multiple clips from the camera roll.

Dozens of apps had cropped up to stitch your video clips together; you can now do it inside Instagram once again.

The update is rolling out today on iOS and Android.

Instagram To Also Follow Facebook In Showing Posts Out Of Order

Instagram is testing a more personalized feed for its users, the company said today. The reorganized feed relies on an algorithm to sort images and videos based on what users are likely to be most interested in. The social media platform currently organizes posts from newest to oldest, which often leads to missing posts from friends. The new feed more closely resembles that of Instagram’s parent company, Facebook.

Instagram co-founder and chief executive Kevin Systrom told the New York Times that people miss an average of 70 percent of the posts in their feeds. “What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible,” he said.

The company is using machine-learning technology, as well as other signals of interest, to determine how to sort content. The timeliness of the posts and the relationship between users will also play a role, so that people you interact with more often appear higher in the feed.

The feed experiment reflects the social media platform’s increasing popularity and the resulting surge in content. It currently has more than 400 million regular users — 75 percent of whom live outside the United States. Mike Krieger, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, told the Times that international users often miss posts overnight due to time differences.

For now, only an unspecified single-digit percentage of users will test the algorithm. The results of the initial tests will determine whether the changes are made permanently across the platform. But there’s every reason to assume they will be — among other things, Instagram recently de-emphasized timestamps on posts by shrinking them and putting them underneath the photo.

Twitter also changed its users’ feeds to emphasize quality over chronology earlier this year. Like Instagram, the company began sorting tweets by a personalized algorithm. Twitter still allows users to opt out of the new feed, though, whereas Instagram suggested the new feed will not be optional.