Instagram grew to its $1 billion acquisition price through a service that’s used almost entirely through a mobile app. As it continues to balloon in size, it only makes sense that it would expand onto the web to compete against the likes of Flickr and 500px. That day may be closer than you think.
Flickr users have made quite a commotion in the past couple days begging new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to make the photo sharing site “awesome again”, but how does one go about doing so? Mat Honan of Wired says that one of the site’s big weaknesses is user engagement, and conducted a test to prove his point:
I wanted to test out this notion. So at 3 p.m. on Tuesday I took a photo of a sticky on my desk and uploaded it to several photo-sharing services — Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Path. And just for kicks, I also uploaded it to MlkShk as an afterthought, almost a half hour after all the other platforms. MlkShk is a site with only about 20,000 users, but it’s a very engaged community.
[...] By the next morning Twitter was at 66, Facebook at 51, Instagram at 57, MlkShk at 46, Google+ at 19, and Path stalled out at 2. And Flickr, where it landed on the site’s “Explore” page that highlights the most interesting photos of the day? 23. Perhaps more damning than the poor showing in terms of up votes was how ignored it was in real-time. It was only even viewed a total of five times on Flickr in that first hour.
Online retailer Woot did a similar (unscientific) test earlier this month and also found that Flickr lagged behind the other social networks in terms of how engaged its users are.
Flickr’s Engagement Problem May Be Too Big for Even Marissa Mayer [Wired]
Image credit: Photograph by Mat Honan/Wired
Idan Shechter, the guy behind Camera Size, has launched a new website for photographers who understand sizes better through visual comparisons than through specs and figures. Sensor Size is a website that offers quick visual comparisons of sensors found in popular digital cameras. Select the cameras you want to check out from a couple of drop-down menus, and the sensors are displayed in relative sizes next to each other. You can also stack the images or display them in a 3D overlay for a better view.
Watch out, Flickr — Instagram is coming for you. The popular photo sharing app has quietly updated its website to include commenting and liking on individual photo pages. Previously the website was “read only”, and any interaction with the social network was limited to its mobile interface. The new website, which also features larger images and a slick blue theme, suggests that the company may soon be breathing down Flickr’s neck by expanding beyond mobile. However, it still noticeably lacks profiles and photo discovery features.
(via The Next Web)
It’s a shame that the digital age brought with it such widespread copyright infringement and, sometimes, downright theft, but it’s a reality we have to live with. Fortunately, there’s a new website up on Tumblr that is looking to help expose the people who are taking credit for other’s work, and in the process help to cut down on some of the blatant infringement many photographers deal with week in and week out. Read more…
The Web Platform Team over at Adobe is currently working on bringing Photoshop-style blending modes to HTML, which would allow fancier websites and easier transitions from the company’s design tools to the web. If they succeed in publishing the spec through W3C and having it implemented in WebKit, web designers will soon be able to make use of a new CSS property called “blend-mode” that can take the same values as the blending mode drop down menu in Photoshop (e.g. normal, multiply, screen, overlay, color-dodge).
Bringing blending to the Web (via John Nack)
DEVELOP Tube is a video channel on YouTube and Vimeo that’s geared towards photographers and curated by NYC-based photographer Erica McDonald. Each channel features interviews, profiles, lectures, and films about photography that are carefully selected from each website.
The New York Times has launched a new Tumblr site called “The Lively Morgue” to breathe new life into items in the newspaper’s photo archive (nicknamed “The Morgue”). Each week they’ll be sharing several historical photographs found in massive collection. Just how massive?
We don’t know. Our best guess is five million to six million prints and contact sheets (each sheet, of course, representing many discrete images) and 300,000 sacks of negatives, ranging in format size from 35 millimeter to 5 by 7 inches — at least 10 million frames in all. The picture archive also includes 13,500 DVDs, each storing about 4.7 gigabytes worth of imagery. When the Museum of Modern Art set out to exhibit the highlights of the Times archive in 1996, it dispatched four curators. They spent nine months poring over 3,000 subjects, working with two Times editors, one of whom spent a year on the project. In the end, they estimated that they’d seen only one-quarter of the total. [#]
To make the project even more interesting, they’re also publishing an image of the reverse side of each print. This often reveals information such as how often the image was used, notes by the photographer, and the original caption that was chosen.
The Lively Morgue (via NYT)
Curious about where people like to take pictures in your part of the world? Sightsmap is a simple Google Map app that takes geo data from the photos uploaded to Panoramio (now a Google service) and uses it to generate a heatmap.
Candidtag is a new service designed to make it easy to earn a little cash by photographing strangers you meet out in public. The idea is that there are people (e.g. tourists) out there who are too busy enjoying their lives to carry a camera around, but at the same time would like memories of their experiences. If you always carry your camera around, you can offer to take pictures for strangers and then give them a card pointing them to your Candidtag “collection”. The client can later visit the website to view the photos you took and purchase prints or digital copies. Photographers are paid by commission when sales are made.
Candidtag (Thanks Justin!)