Instagram is wasting precious screen space with new look

Instagram continues to bring out new updates to its app every week now and the change I blogged about a few days ago has already been removed again. I love Instagram and I check the app several times per day. In the latest update there has been a change to the design of the activity feed.

The tab that used to be called “news” is now called “you” and for some time the notifications (likes, comments or follows) have been presented in a quite condensed feed. Images to the right had no white space between them. Before that, the images had rounded corners and also some white space between them. The latest look made it possible to squeeze in more notifications on the screen since each notification took up less space.

New look is wasting precious space
But as of yesterday, the feed has a new look again and the white space between images is back. That means that each notification takes up more space and that is not good. If you are a user with lots of interactions, you get loads of notifications and you don’t want unnecessary scrolling if you can avoid it. The new look is wasting precious screen space. Here’s the difference between the previous design and the new one.

Even on a smaller screen iPhone 4 to the left, you see more interactions than on the larger screen iPhone 5 to the left.

instagramfeed

I hope they will revert this change and go back to the previous look.

 

Instagram adds suggested accounts in drop down menu

I’ve blogged about recent changes to Instagram and today I discovered another new addition to the popular app. Instagram is obviously adding improvements that will make it easier to follow new accounts. The one I just noticed is a drop down menu next to the follow button on a profile page.

When you click on the arrow Instagram shows three suggested accounts to follow that are similar to the one you are watching. A clever little feature that probably will contribute to the growth of connections among accounts.

instagram drop down menu

 

Follow me on Instagram at @kullin

UPDATE: Here’s how you can add the drop down menu to your Instagram account.

Time stamps are back on Instagram photos

Last week I blogged about a new follow button on Instagram photos which unfortunately meant that time stamps were removed from images under a specific hashtag or location.

Well, they weren’t missing for very long, because now time stamps are back. Now they are displayed under the images so that both the new follow button and the time stamp are visible. Although I won’t take any credit for this change, it was exactly what I expressed in my blog post.

Here you can see the same image now with the new time stamp and below the example from last week without the time stamp.

instagramparis

 

instabutton2

Instagram removes time stamps and here’s what I don’t like about it

Instagram has added a new follow button on images that you find when you search on a specific hashtag or location. This change has the potential to increase the number of accounts users follow because it removes a few steps. Now if you see an image you like you can instantly follow that account with one click as opposed to before when you had to click on the user profile in order to follow that account.

It’s a smart move but the downside of this change is that the follow button has replaced the time stamp (“Följ” is Follow in Swedish).

instabutton2

I think the loss of the time stamp is bad for two reasons.

Hashtags on old photos
First of all, searching for images from a location or from different hashtags is a great way to discover new accounts to follow. But some people like to game the system and I don’t want to follow such accounts. Some people have a habit of deleting and adding hashtags to old photos just to get more likes and followers. And since Instagram displays images in reverse chronological order under hashtags, the images with the most recent hashtags are displayed first, even if they are a year old.

Previously you could instantly see if a photo was old, but now you can’t see the difference between an image that was uploaded 10 minutes ago and one that is 10 weeks old. Well, you can, but you have to click on the user profile and scroll through that person’s feed. In the feed, time stamps are still visible.

Photos in Instagram competitions
The second reason is that when brands arrange competitions on Instagram, there are almost always a time frame in which photos need to be uploaded to be eligable for a prize. If an image is uploaded after a certain time and date, it can’t win the competition. Previously you could see that immediately under a competition hashtag in Instagram, but now you can’t. You can still do this on sites like Iconosquare so it’s not a big problem.

The replacement of the time stamp is somewhat of a trade off. It removes a few steps in one place and adds them in another. I would have liked if Instagram could have kept it and still add the new follow button.

Follow med on Instagram: @kullin

Hello from the other side

Ett foto publicerat av Hans Kullin (@kullin)

Teenage girls sentenced in Swedish Instagram defamation case

instagram logoTwo girls, aged 15 and 16, were today sentenced in Gothenburg, Sweden, for defamation of 38 teenagers on Instagram. The two were responsible for posting photographs of mostly girls on Instagram, calling them out as “sluts” with claims of different sexual activities. More than 200 teenagers claimed to have had their photographs published on the “hate accounts” on Instagram, which at one point led to the so called Instagram riots outside the Plusgymnasiet high schoool in Gothenburg late 2012. The case eventually involved 38 plaintiffs where the evidence were strong enough to press charges against the girls.

The younger of the two admitted to publishing the photos, but the older girl had denied that she has been involved. During three days in December 2012, the Instagram account “Gbgsorroz” published names and photos with slanderous comments of more than 200 teenagers. The convicted girls asked others for tips, photos and comments via the messenger serivce Kik, and then published this information on Instagram.

The two girls have now been convicted and sentenced to youth care and youth service. In addition, they shall pay damages to each of the plaintiffs to the amount of 15,000 SEK, or 570,000 SEK in total (85,000 USD).

The information about who was behind the account was obtained from Microsoft and local internet service provider ComHem, according to the district court. They then tracked who used the actual IP number that had been assigned to one of the accused parents, according to SVT.

The entire sentence can be found here in Swedish.

Abercrombie & Fitch and Espresso House also hijacked on Instagram

Yesterday I blogged about how SAS, Emirates and SF got their brands hijacked on Instagram. Today I found two new examples of fake accounts that promise to give away gift cards in exchange for email addresses. Hundreds of Swedish Instagram users are currently giving away both email addresses and even mobile numbers on the fake accounts of Abercrombie & Fitch and coffee chain Espresso House.

Fake Abercrombie & Fitch at http://instagram.com/abercrombiesverige. The account bio says: “We are soon opening a store in Sweden! Follow the instructions in the image to get unique offers and gift cards”. The image caption says that the company will give a gift card worth 1,000 SEK to all followers of the account if they add their email address in the comments.

abercrombie instagram

Fake Espresso House at http://instagram.com/espressohouseofficiell. The account bio says: “The first 5,000 that follow and share this account will get a gift card of 100 SEK at Espresso House”.

espresso house instagram