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

 

14,000 people fooled by fake SAS Instagram account

The Instagram account SAS Scandinavian, @scandinavianairlines, promised two tickets to New York including 5 stars (sic) hotel to the first 20,000 people that followed the account. The account quickly attracted more than 14,000 followers.

SAS Instagram fake account

Of course, this was not the official account of the Scandinavian airline, which can be found at @FLYSAS. Instead, the account soon changed name to @s0viknes and it belongs to, it seems, a young Norwegian guy who did this as a prank to get a lot of followers. He boasts: “follow this king who tricked them all”.

Note: I have cropped this photo because it seems the person in the photo was not the person behind the account.

SAS fake account on Instagram

As always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If SAS would give away 40,000 airline tickets that would cost about 44 million USD. Plus hotel rooms for 40,000 people. That’s just ridiculous. And you would think that the lousy English spelling would reveal that this was not an official account. Please think before you follow and share hoaxes like these.

And for brands, it is always wise to secure the most apparent versions of your brand name on popular social networks. At least that makes it a bit harder for others to use your brand to scam people.

Update: Several similar fake accounts have apparently appeared the last week. Via @AndersEriksson we can see a screen shot from the fake @emirates_dubai here: http://instagram.com/p/Vb9H-VNmYo/

And one account is pretending to be the Swedish cinema chain SF: @sfbioofficial. It says it will hand out 10,000 movie tickets to people who follow the account and add their email address in the comments to an image. More than 6,500 comments can be found so far, most of them include email addresses to teens and kids. And new comments are still being added every second as I blog this. The official account can be found at @SFBIO.

Parents, you need to have a talk with your kids about scams on Instagram. Found via @kingdeborg and @jonatanahlin on Twitter.

sfbio instagram

Update 2: The account @sfbioofficial changed name to @williammkarlsson, then reappeared with the first name with new followers and new images. @williammkarlsson is now gone, hopefully because it got reported as spam. The scam continues and new comments are added every minute. It seems that the account adds a new image now and then to attract new followers and commenters.