Introducing Instagram Hyperlapse

Instagram Hyperlapse

On Tuesday, the ever popular Instagram platform rolled out an incredible new app called Hyperlapse.

Essentially, the new app speeds up and stabilizes long videos into shorter, time-lapsed shorts. Available for iPhone users in the Apple Store, this app is very easy to use — just shoot a video within the platform and the app will do the rest! The new time-lapsed videos are automatically saved to your camera roll (if you choose) and are able to be shared across varying social platforms.

Here are a few examples:

Creating with #hyperlapse is going to be a lot of fun. Well played @instagram #ants

A post shared by Jake Hiller (@jmayerhiller) on

Tell us: Have you tried the Hyperlapse yet?

— Samantha


Instagram Adds New Editing Tools

Instagram Editing Tools

If you’re like the rest of the human population, you’re probably on Instagram everyday 🙂 Well, good news for the platform’s users: new photo editing tools.

Earlier this week, the popular image sharing social platform rolled out a new set of tools to help edit photos even more, including the ability to change an image’s contrast, warmth, saturation and more. With many IG users already turning to additional apps to help edit pics, it only makes sense for the platform to provide its users with tools they really want and need.

Instagram stated, “You take a photo to capture a moment, but often what you see in the photograph doesn’t feel the same as what you remember. From brightening up a photo of your dinner party to better capturing the warmth of a sunset portrait, these new creative tools help you bring out and share the beauty of the moment as you remember it—right inside the same simple Instagram you already know.”

Although it may not seem like a drastic change in the application, for many this means cutting out the middle man — or other editing apps like the popular VSCO Cam. Similar to how IG added video capabilities after Vine was launched through Twitter, this new addition will make many folks happy and consequently, continuous use of the platform.

Have you tried the new IG photo editing tools yet?

— Samantha

Vine Turns 1 & Celebrates Best Videos of the Year

A Year on Vine

It’s crazy to think that a whole year has passed since Vine was introduced to the world.

For those who are unfamiliar, Vine is a mobile application where users can create six-second videos, with the ability to start and stop recording as many times as they want. In January 2013, Vine was acquired by Twitter and made big news as people and brands could now easily express themselves through another medium.

Although competitor Instagram introduced video capabilities in June 2013, Vine has remained popular. Today, it celebrates its first anniversary. To get the party started, check out Vine’s 200 video compilation totaling 18 minutes, including funny clips from fans, as well as videos from President Obama and Justin Bieber.

We picked out a few of our faves:

Tell us: Which is your favorite vine video from 2013?

— Samantha

Instagram Ad Success


It’s been about 6 weeks since Instagram introduced ads to its platform — and the results look good. As we’ve mentioned before, Instagram started slow, allowing only 10 retailers to start posting ads, which included Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s. Although Facebook has only released the results from these 2 brands, both have seen significant gains. Levi’s was able to reach an audience 47 times bigger than its follower count, while Ben & Jerry’s was able to reach an audience 29 times larger. Pretty impressive numbers.

Both brands were concerned that the numbers may have been inflated due to the novelty of the new ads. Because of this concern, they decided to pay more attention to numbers regarding ad recall and brand message awareness. Resulting from these ads, consumers were 32% more likely to remember the product highlighted than someone who had not seen it. They also saw a 10% jump in message awareness for people who were exposed to the ads. These are solid metrics, but information on how much these companies paid for these ads has not been released, making it is impossible to truly calculate ROI.

Personally, we think Instagram ads are off to a great start. We’ve seen a few ads on our feed which have been visually pleasing and even enjoyable. Hopefully this is how the ads will continue to be, however we have our doubts. Instagram put such an emphasis on making sure these initial ads were high quality, once more advertisers enter the game, the quality is sure to suffer.

Tell us: How did you feel about the new Instagram ads?

-Mike & Samantha

Is This the End of the Facebook Era?

End of the Facebook Era

Although Facebook is one of the largest social networks in the world, it’s slowly losing its popularity. Any decline of such a big company is bound to occur over time, yet it’s interesting to note what the company is doing in response. Little, if nothing.

As many bloggers and tech-analysts will agree, once a large social movement like Facebook becomes so engrained in our everyday life that it is no longer unique or special, it will soon become extinct. It’s simply the nature of the game.

As stated by Facebook CFO David Ebersam a few months ago, Facebook is starting to lose it’s teen demographic around the world. They’re no longer on Facebook, but rather on other instant gratification sites likes Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and WeChat. But it’s not just teenagers who are leaving the FB giant, it’s the millennial generation as well, who can’t handle crazy, over-stimulated Newsfeeds with everyone on it, from their students to their and grandmothers.

It’s clear that Facebook wants its users to continue sharing more and more. But if what we post on our Facebook walls never gets seen by our friends (thanks to many, many algorithm changes), what is the point? Specifically as it relates to companies, Facebook recently admitted that brands will need to start paying for such visibility in order to break through the clutter of the typical FB fan’s Newsfeed. This extra demand of companies is causing quite the stir as it’s not clearly stated how boosting will actually get stories into Newfeeds — and by how much.

After all is said and done, Facebook has not come out with any life-changing additions to the platform (if you don’t count auto-playing video ads). Yes, they’ve acquired popular platforms like Instagram, but they’ll have to do a lot more to stay relevant in people’s lives. Although Facebook will most likely survive, the “Facebook Era” may be coming to an end.

— Samantha

Watch Out Snapchat, Introducing Instagram Direct

Intoducing Instagram Direct

Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz in the news of CEO Evan Spiegel turning down a $3 billion offer from Facebook to buy his increasingly popular photo-sharing app. Well, Mr. Spiegel may now be rethinking his decision.

Introducing Instagram Direct, the ability for users to send and receive photos and videos during those moments that we want to share to only a select few. Unlike Snapchat where an image or video is delivered and is live for a maximum of 10 seconds, Instagram has added a whole new level onto it’s already expanding platform allowing users to more intimately share content that they already have on their phone AND to take images/video in real time — additions that could essentially wipe out a need for a platform like Snapchat.

Users on Instagram will now see a new icon in the upper righthand corner of the newsfeed. Once clicked, one can view pictures and videos from people who have directly Instagrammed them. If they want to directly Instagram their own friends, simply enter the normal camera button and click the button at the top of the screen to share with particular friends or “Direct.” After clicking “Direct,” one can choose the friends they want to share an image or video with, write a caption as normal and tap send to finish.

After sending content (and very similar to Snapchat), a user will be able to see who’s viewed the pic or video and see in real time who is commenting and liking it. Receiving a direct Instagram is just as easy. Anything that is directly sent to you will show up immediately, while content sent from a user that you’re not currently following will simply be sent into your requests box so one can choose to view it or not!

Direct Instagram

Bottom line? We think Mr. Spiegel must be shaking in his boots. Not only is this is a direct competitor using similar methods to send and receive images and video, but Instagram has taken it to a whole new level by integrating better ways of viewing engagement in real-time — and content isn’t lost in the inter-webs forever either.

For brands and businesses, this provides a distinctly unique way of marketing to customers. Simply take an image of a new product, coupon, etc. and directly Instagram it to a select group of followers, then track who’s seen it and the immediate engagement around it. We especially love how brands will be able to send direct Instagrams to followers who may not necessarily be following them back, therefore increasing their chances of having more eyes on particular messaging, etc. A brand’s reach is now much larger than before — and because many other social platforms don’t allow you to target posts or tweets in the same customizable way, Instagram just gained a few more points ahead of the competition!

Tell us: Will your company start using direct Instagrams in the future??

— Samantha

Sweetgreen: How Social Built A Restaurant

Sweetgreen Restaurant

We’ve all heard how important social media can be to a company’s marketing plan, especially for start-ups trying to make a name for themselves. Although social triumphs in retail and consumer-based industries are all too common, such success within the food industry sometimes flies under the radar.

Well, we’d like to introduce you to Sweetgreen: a start-up restaurant that utilized social media to its full potential and truly came out on top. Making salads cool, Sweetgreen was able to transform itself into a lifestyle brand, rather than simply a place to pick up a healthy lunch.

By taking advantage of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Sweetgreen generates content containing much more than your typical “food-porn.” Such engaging content include helpful yoga tips, cool new music selections and even upcoming sustainability projects which ultimately keeps fans engaged with this salad company time and time again.

We think this is an impressive social strategy that everyone can learn from.

Take a look at the full story below:

— Mike & Samantha

Worried About Instagram Ads?

We all hate ads being shoved in our face left and right, but don’t be scared, it seems Instagram’s new ad campaign will actually be pretty pleasant. Pleasant ads? Hard to believe we know, but Instagram is being very careful not to repeat mistakes made by Facebook when they first introduced ads. Instagram plans to slowly integrate these new “promoted” posts by allowing only a few, hand-picked, brands with successful existing accounts. Such brands include, Levi’s, Ben & Jerry’s, General Electric and PayPal. By only allowing access to these big, well funded brands, the posts are much more likely to be high quality, enjoyable photos. Here are two examples from Levi’s and Instagram themselves:

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As you can see, these are actually pretty cool photos. If you don’t agree and would rather not see a certain add, you even have the ability to click on the “…” in the bottom right-hand corner and hide and provide feedback on the ad. This will help Instagram learn what you like and provide more appropriate ads in the future.

Will these ads continue to be visually appealing and unobtrusive as time goes on? We will have to wait and see. No one really likes ads, but it is refreshing to see that Instagram is making the user experience its number one priority. How do you feel about this new introduction?

Mike & Samantha

NowThis News

If you haven’t heard of the Instagram account, NowThis News, you most certainly will soon. With over 50,000 followers, NowThis News is changing the way people receive breaking news. NowThis specializes in using Instagram to deliver breaking news in 15-second video clips. Since its introduction last June, Instagram video has mainly been used to promote upcoming stories, events or campaigns, rather than breaking the actual news itself. This has been a pretty successful model for certain brands who have taken advantage of Instagram’s latest feature, but what about news agencies? We all know that Twitter is the leading social media platform for breaking news, so why can’t Instagram follow suit? Take a look at some examples of what NowThis News has been bringing to Instagram:

This must be the most condensed, no-nonsense delivery of news in the history of reporting, and with our generation’s ever shortening attention spans, nothing is more important than brevity. This is one of those ideas that is so simple it’s genius. Not only does NowThis get you the facts quickly and efficiently, the videos are also very visually appealing.

We believe the introduction of NowThis will almost certainly impact the way traditional media breaks the news. How long until we see similar tactics from outlets like CNN, NPR, etc? If they are smart, and want to stay relevant with today’s youth, the sooner they better. It will be exciting to see how fast NowThis grows and how much of an impact it will have.

-Mike & Samantha


After reading our last post on how to take advantage of hashtags, we are sure you are eager to implement your new knowledge. While hashtags are an important tool in social media, beware of becoming the dreaded over-hashtagger. Remember, hashtags are great, but use only in moderation. Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon demonstrate the aforementioned overuse below:

-Mike & Samantha