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Instagram users are flocking to greener pastures after the photo-sharing service posted new Terms of Service this week. With the new TOS, users are required to consent to allowing the Facebook-owned service license their public photos to companies, organizations and advertisers. As CNET puts it, this could make Instagram a stock photo service in itself, without paying out to photographers.
More than likely, however, the new TOS are for Instagram users would be used in promotional images, rather than as stock photos that cheat the photographers out of money. It's the fact that the latter is a possibility that is causing some users to embark on an exodus to Flickr, Hipstamatic or Twitter.
The Verge reports that searching for Instagram on Twitter brings up several instructions for how to export your Instagram pics and cancel your account. There are also several tweets spreading about which photo-sharing services make a good Instagram replacement, such as the article Fast Company posted.
The change in its Terms of Services coincides not only with the unwelcome change in photo-cropping functionality, but also as Twitter adds its own photo filters, and Flickr releases version 2.0 of its iOS client. It may be a temporary setback for Instagram, or it could spell the beginning of the end if the service doesn't do something fast to appease its users.
Facebook wants more of its employees carrying Android devices, employing vaguely propagandistic posters around its Menlo Park campus. The posters outline the growing lead Android has over iOS, projecting that lead to double by 2016. The goal is to get Facebook employees using devices that the majority of their app users use, or "Droidfooding," as the campaign is casually known.
“In the early days we gave employees iPhones primarily”, a Facebook spokesperson said to TechCrunch. This recent shift to a more Android OS orientated workplace is part of an effort to make it as simple as possible to test future Facebook For Android and Facebook Messenger apps.
“We’ve created more awareness that Android devices are available” Facebook says. "There's plenty of people here carrying around both devices, and not just engineers and not just mobile people.”
Read More | TechCrunch
The offer from Twitter, according to The New York Times, was for $525 million. Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, agreed to the buy-out, but changed his mind before selling Instagram to Facebook without allowing Twitter to make a counter offer.
What's interesting is that Systrom had stated while under oath to the California Corporations Department that Instagram had never received another formal offer. None of the parties have commented on the Times article that brought this information to life, but it could mean we might be in the throes of an intense legal battle shortly.
Read More | NY TImes
If you visit the Twitter Web site, you'll see a refreshed bird logo waiting for you. Today the company unveiled a modified, sleeker (if you can call it that) version of it's iconic Twitter bird. The head feathers have been removed, and the bird now seems to be flying upwards instead of forward. It's also a darker shade of blue. We're guessing that if no one told you that the logo was new, that you probably wouldn't even notice the change. It's definitely different, but definitely subtle.
Read More | Twitter Blog
Google just released a massive redesign for its Google+ social network, the majority of which you can check out in the walkthrough video above. Our thoughts? Lots of whitespace, but we'll play with it for a bit before final judgment.
This morning during the Facebook f8 keynote, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Timeline, a new way to express who you are on Facebook. It's a reverse chronological timeline of the most important pieces of content that you've shared on Facebook, which you have control over curating. Facebook apps will be able to add to your Timeline as well, and it's been built to look great on both desktops and mobile devices. Expect the feature to be rolled out sometime within the next few weeks, but you can get a peek at the goodness in the video above.
Read More | Facebook Timeline
Facebook is right in the middle of announcing three new changes that are happening today. The first is multi-person group chat, which has been one of the most requested features. Second, a redesign of chat that makes it easier to get to the people you chat with most, better see the avatars of yours friends, etc. Lastly, and this is the big one, instant video chat through a partnership with Skype. Just choose a friend and initiate a video call, and if they don't have the plugin installed, it takes 10 seconds to download, and you are chatting. No need for a Skype username, or Skype software, it all happens through Facebook. Hit the link below now to see the announcement happening live, with demos.
Read More | Facebook Live
Google on Tuesday took another leap into the social space with Google+, which aims to connect people via specific friendship circles, interests, location, and more.
Google+, which is currently operating via a "field trial," has four main components: Circles, Sparks, Hangouts, and Mobile.
"We'd like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project," Google said in a blog post.
Google+ begins with Circles, which helps compartmentalize all the people in your life. Google took a swipe at Facebook, arguing that putting everyone under the "friends" label hurts the ability to share. It becomes sloppy, scary, and insensitive, the search giant said.
"From close family to foodies, we found that people already use real-life circles to express themselves, and to share with precisely the right folks. So we did the only thing that made sense: we brought Circles to software," Google said. "Just make a circle, add your people, and share what's new—just like any other day."
Facebook began showing off its plans for a new data center and server design on Thursday. It will be called the "Open Compute Project," executives said.
Facebook is making the design documents and specifications public at OpenCompute.org. The company claims that the design of the new servers is 38 percent more power efficient than its older designs, and costs 24 percent less to make.
Graham Weston, the chairman of Rackspace, said that his company would use the new Open Compute servers in its own designs, and Zynga's chief technical officer said that his company would take a serious look at adding the new technology to its own cloud.
Industry executives said that the new server designs will have a positive impact not just on the IT industry, but also with emerging countries that may not have the R&D resources to design their own power-efficient servers and data centers. Instead, they said, they can leverage the collective expertise. With the cost savings that the new server designs enable, those savings can be passed along to service companies that use web hosting to drive their businesses.
"This is how Facebook kicks Google's ass," said Robert Scoble, a blogger for Rackspace, one of the companies that will use the technology. The new data center does not use a "chiller," he said. Instead, it puts fine particles of water in the air and cools the server through evaporative cooling.
Kevin Rose has stepped down from Digg, he confirmed Friday evening via Twitter.
"Wow, tons of questions - I'll confine advising Digg/ on the board of directors, & taping Diggnation (as I have been since [CEO Matt Williams] joined)," Rose tweeted.
TechCrunch's Michael Arrington originally broke the story. According to Arrington, Rose is leaving Digg to focus on a new startup he's founded. In fact, Rose is closing out a $1 million funding round for the new company.
Rose founded Digg in 2004. However, the last year wasn't exactly smooth sailing for the company. Former CEO Jay Adelson left Digg in April after he and Rose had a falling out, Arrington said. Rose took over the post briefly, until former Amazon exec Matt Williams was hired as Digg's new chief.
But Digg's issues have been more than managerial.At its peak, the link-sharing site had more than 40 million unique monthly visitors. In August, Digg rolled out the somewhat controversial version 4 update. The redesign was intended to curb the overwhelming authority of the dominant power users, but it was immediately hit with bugs and delays, as well as the disdain of some long-time users.
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