Should Instagram maintain its original engagement model?

I have been looking for a third party software in order to manager an Instagram account and plan some posts beforehand. I thought it would be easy to find but actually, apart from some apps like Instarepost or similar, there isn’t much on the market to help community management on Instagram. I contacted the company I work with to do social media monitoring and they send me an interesting reply:

At this time, uploading via the Instagram API is not possible. We got in touch with them to ask whether this would change, but we received the following reply:

“Instagram is about your life on the go – we hope to encourage photos from within the app. However, in the future we may give whitelist access to individual apps on a case by case basis. We want to fight spam & low quality photos. Once we allow uploading from other sources, it’s harder to control what comes into the Instagram ecosystem. All this being said, we’re working on ways to ensure users have a consistent and high-quality experience on our platform.”

I find it very interesting to see how Instagram sticks to their original business model without giving in to the desktop/laptop management temptation. This was for instance a decision Vine went for but it made them lose some of their uniqueness. Vine used to be a spontaneous app where really creative people would experiment and challenge their abilities within the pretty strict limitations of the app. That’s what made Vines very unique. Since they allowed uploads of basically any six seconds videos, they did make it easier for the users to be present in the Vine community but they completely killed their original engagement model. I still believe that making any six second video doesn’t mean making a Vine. But this is what almost the entire Vine community has become.

From what I read on Uplifted, Instagram are taking this very seriously. In Instagram’s continued quest to remain an exclusively mobile app, they are now penalizing users of third-party apps, such as Gramblr.  Gramblr still works great for posting pre-edited photos, but with a catch.  Instagram is now disabling hashtags on accounts that have used Gramblr in the past, sometimes even for just one photo. Businesses and individuals who wish to accumulate followers should stick to posting strictly from the sanctioned instagram app.

Latergram might just be the next big thing in social media management.  The app, which bills itself as the way to “schedule and manage your Instagram posts” promises to do just that and more. Still in beta version.

Have another alternative? I’d love to know!

#Talkdigital blogging competition: have your say on European digital communication!

The next European elections will take place all around the European Union between 22-25 May and it’s a good time for us all to reflect on the direction we want the EU to take. So we have a question for you – how do you think the EU could better communicate with citizens digitally? If you could suggest one big thing about European digital communication what would that be?

Share your ideas in this blogging competition! The winning idea will be published on Waltzing Matilda, the blog of the digital team of the European Commission, and the author will be invited to speak at EuroPCom2014.

You can submit your entry until 15 June 2014.

Send your entry by email to the Commission’s social media team with the subject “#TALKDIGITAL BLOGGING COMPETITION” or leave us a comment to this post. Continue reading “#Talkdigital blogging competition: have your say on European digital communication!”

Bill Gates’ missed prediction on printed paper

In 2000 Bill Gates foresaw that printed paper would disappear by 2007. As we all know, this turned out to be a reckless forecast. Even though digitalization and the actual number of computers (including desktops and laptops) has grown by 1000% since then, even though we have witnessed the advent of e-mails, chats, the web and cloud computing, paper has still not abandoned us.

Since 2011 the whole volume of printed paper has only declined by 1.5%. More precisely, global production went from 3.03 billion down to 2.98 billion printed pages. (Data from IDC analysis related to inkjet and laser print-outs.)

Right, we can record a light decrease but we must also consider that the economic crisis has reduced drastically the production and usage of paper of many Western businesses.

Even though tablets are beating sales records since 2008, black on white print-out is still the most comfortable, pleasant and healthy way to read. Especially in the office environment we enjoy reading print-outs in order not to tire our eyes and have the opportunity to scrabble on them.

The morale that this data tells is that gurus’ ideas can be often creative but reckless and what is worse is that they are passed on new generations…on paper obviously.


#EUinMyRegion photo competition discussed on Radio 24

On 20 July I have been invited on L’Altra Europa, a radio programme hosted on Radio 24 (Italian national news radio) to talk about the “Europe in my region” photo competition organized by the European Commission. I had a chat with radio host Federico Taddia where I explained how the competition works and what is the purpose of it.

The competition is open to anyone who spots a great photo opportunity showing a project in their region or when travelling to another region in the European Union.

To enter this competition, all you need to do is take a photo of a project receiving EU funding you know or have seen, with the plaque or billboard with funding information and the EU flag somewhere in the picture.

Then share your photos here for a chance to win €1 000 to spend on digital camera equipment and a trip for two to Brussels in October 2013.