Whitney Houston is dead – Twitter user beats media with the scoop

So I wake up to hear the tragic news that the fantastic singer Whitney Houston is dead. As often happens these days, I found out via social media, this time via comments on Facebook. When the story broke, the news spread on Twitter at the speed of over 1,000 tweets per second. The first hour there were almost 2.5 million tweets about her death, according to Topsy.com.

And once again we find an example of how Twitter beat traditional media with the scoop. Twitter user @chilemasgrande tweeted this 27 minutes before the first news outlet tweeted.


Here is the first confirmed tweet from AP about the death of Whitney Houston, a tweet that has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.


But Twitter and Facebook are not the only social media channels that become outlets for grieving fans. On Instagram, there are thousands of images posted with the tag #whitneyhouston and hundreds more are being added as I post this.


And on Pinterest, photos of Houston are being commented, pinned and repinned. This photo has currently been repinned 900 times and has more than 100 comments.

Source: google.com via Marenda on Pinterest


Social media is becoming the place where we both discover news and share our thoughts. This story is just one more example of that.

Facebook is driving more traffic to Pinterest than to Instagram

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the new social media darling Pinterest. The online pinboard is growing quickly and according to a new report from Compete, Pinterest is also driving a lot of traffic to other social networks. People are sharing images and videos on Pinterest which in turn drive traffic to sites like Facebook. According to the State of Social Media report from Compete, Pinterest delivered 1.7 million visits to Facebook in November 2011, an increase by 62%. As a comparison, that is almost double the amount of referrals from an established site like Yellowpages.com.

In this social ecosystem, social networks in turn drive traffic back to Pinterest. It is quite interesting to see that Facebook is already driving more traffic to Pinterest than to Instagram (0.16% share vs 0.06%). And this was before it was announced in January that Pinterest was among the sites that could start auto-update to the Facebook timeline, which possibly means that more images are now shared on Facebook than in November.


Twitter on the other hand is still driving more referrals to Instagram than to Pinterest.


The difference between how Facebook and Twitter drive referrals to Pinterest and Instagram is interesting. I don’t have an explanation to why this is, but one theory could be that the demographics of Pinterest users better match Facebook users while Instagram users are more like Twitter users. Says TechCrunch:

“Unlike most web startups, Pinterest’s core user base is not the typical early adopter set from the west and east coasts of the United States. While the Pacific and North East regions contained the most Pinterest users in May, now its strongholds are in the East South Central and West North Central States, such as Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Mississippi.”

According to TechCrunch, a large portion of Pinterest users in the US are 18-34 year old upper income women from the American heartland which may explain why some of the more popular categories on Pinterest are food, pets, hair & beauty and travel.

Another explanation can of course be that Instagram mainly is an app and that its web presence is not very good. When you click on an Instagram photo there’s hardly no way to get that user to keep on browsing on the site. You can’t even click on my name and explore more of my photos, so visits to www.instagr.am is not at all encouraged. On Twitter, Instagram photos are viewable within the site and in for example TweetDeck (but I don’t know if that counts as a “visit”).

Also, a tiny but important detail. When you tweet a photo from Pinterest, it doesn’t include the caption in the tweet, which might reduce the willingness to push the send button. Fix that, and I am sure more people will share pinned images on Twitter.

Note: Swedish readers may want to read this story about how Pinterest is driving millions of visits to a blogger.

Instagram now growing faster than Flickr

Three days ago I took a look at how many new photos users added on Instagram each day. By looking at the ID numbers of the photos I calculated that Instagram had now reached beyond 500 million photos and that about 4.5 million new photos were uploaded per day. Then I found a blog post from Instagram that summarized last year and in the post it says that at the end of 2011, 400 million photos had been shared in total on Instagram. This confirms that my calculations were pretty accurate (the 400 millionth photo was uploaded on Dec 7, 2011).

If we look at the volume of photos during January 2012, users added approximately 4.5 million photos each day to Instagram. This seems to be confirmed by the statistics from Instagram, that says that the average number of photos uploaded per second at the end of 2011 is 60, or about 5.2 million per day.

Steady growth for Flickr
Now, if we look at the growth of Flickr, it seems that it continues to grow at about the same speed as it has been doing for the last couple of years. Official figures from Yahoo claim that users upload about 4.5 million photos per day to Flickr. But in reality, I believe it is slightly lower than 4.5 million. The 6 billionth photo was uploaded on August 1, 2011. Today, there are 6.7 billion photos on Flickr, which means that on average during the last 5 and a half months, users have uploaded 4.2 million photos per day to Flickr (724 million photos in 172 days).

In other words, Instagram is now growing faster than Flickr. Between 4.5 and 5.2 million per day for Instagram, compared to 4.2-4.5 on Flickr.

Here are two graphs describing the development and you can follow the links below for more stats and links to different milestones.

Pin It


Instagram may reach 1 billion photos in April


Steady growth for Flickr as it reaches 6 billion photos

Instagram may reach 1 billion photos in April

Instagram, one of my favourite apps, is growing like crazy. In September last year, I noted that users had uploaded 200 million photos, which meant that the growth rate in August was about 50 million photos per month. Now, it seems that users are adding the same number in just 11 days.

According to my calculations, Instagram passed 500 million photos on Jan 2, 2012 and 550 million on Jan 13. That means that 4.5 million photos are uploaded each day to Instagram and at that speed 1 billion photos will be reached about April 20, or possibly sooner if the service continues to add new users.

If you want to check the dates of the different milestone photos used in the graph above, follow the links below:

07-16-2010: 2

11-19.2010: 5000001

02-09-2011: 25000002

04-09-2011: 50000000

19-06-2011: 100000000

02-09-2011: 200000000

29-10-2011: 300000001

07-12-2011: 400000000

02-01-2012: 500000000

08-01-2012: 525000000

13-01-2012: 550000000

Some even numbers are not available, I suspect because they are private (or have been deleted). The ID’s of the milestones have been recovered by using Statigram and Ink360.com. There’s no guarantee that the ID numbers from theses sites are an accurate reflection of the total volume, but previously this way of counting has proven to be quite accurate.

Footnote: I’m @kullin on Instagram.

How to create a Twitter background image from your Instagram photos

Yesterday I posted my 200th photo on the photo sharing app Instagram. I have become slightly addicted to Instagram and enjoy sharing photos that I adjust with different photo filters, as well as looking at the amazing images published by other users. Now, there’s an easy way to create a background image for your Twitter account, either from your own Instagram photos, or from other people’s photos. Just go to InstaBG.com and authorize the app. Then you can create an image from your own feed, from another user’s ID, a category or a tag.

You can choose size of the photos, order them by date, popularity or random order, and it is even possible to let the app auto-update the image daily with the latest Instagram photos of your choice. From what I can see, InstaBG takes the 48 latest photos from the stream you have chosen.

I added my photos to my Twitter account. The only problem I had was that it was not possible to upload a background image that was as large as 2.006 pixels wide so I saved it to my computer, then scaled it down to about 1.500 pixels wide and uploaded it manually, which was ok. If you also experience this problem I assume that the auto-update feature will not work properly.

Update: It seems that some are having trouble uploading the image via InstaBG (probably the image is too wide). But it is quite easy to save it to your computer, scale it down to about 1.500 pixels and then upload it yourself via Twitter.com.

twitter background instagram photos

Instagram now has 10 million users

It took Instagram, the popular photo app, less than one month to add that last million users to reach 10 million members. Instagram wrote in a blog post just a few hours ago:

“Last October, we launched Instagram live in the App Store. Today, less than one year later, we’re happy to announce that the Instagram community now consists of over 10 million registered users.”

Account number 10 million is “homer123” (view on Statigram) but it has not posted any photos yet. Since account number 1 and 2 are missing (first working account is Kevin Systrom at #3), you might say that the 10 millionth account is 10,000,002: “dinbeebis” (possibly Swedish?).

Instagram is also close to reaching a quarter of a billion hosted photos since photo number 240 million was uploaded this morning: http://statigr.am/viewer.php#/detail/240000000

Hat tip to Feber.se. I am “kullin” on Instagram.