Hey there, Instagram user! Were you enjoying sharing your photos in the comfort and freedom of a space without ads? Well, we’ve got a bit of bad news: eventually, Facebook needs Instagram to start making money, and there’s a very good chance it’ll be through ads.
We understand if you need to sit for a minute to recover from the shock.
Looks like we aren’t the only ones obsessed with Snapchat, the app that lets you share photos with a self-destruct button of 10 seconds or less. Over at GigaOm, Om Malik reports that Snapchat is rumored to be raising an $8 million round from Benchmark Capital “at a pretty generous pre-money valuation.” He says the app, which was launched by two Stanford students who met at a frat, is rumored to have a valuation “close to $50 million.”
App for That
Snapchat is one of those rare tech products, like Pinterest, that seems to have taken hold in suburbia and then migrated to New York, at least judging by the coastal buzz suddenly circling the year-and-a-half-year-old app. The service, which was founded by two Stanford computer science students who met at a frat, lets you send photos to friends and strangers for 10 seconds or less before they (in theory!) disappear. You can type a message or use a crude coloring stick to mark up the image. It currently holds down the no. 3 spot for free apps in iTunes and recently claimed 30 million “interactions” a day.
David Mas, a graphic designer based in Crevillente, Spain, was just looking for a creative way to stand out in his crowded field. So he turned to the land of sepia filters and brunch photos for help, natch.
Mr. Mas created an Instagram account, @esto_es_un_curriculum, to showcase his skills and past projects. Uninterestingly enough, no borders or filters have been applied to any of the 38 uploads, but none of them have been tagged with #nofilter. It’s a total rookie move.
Tim Cook’s not sure where you all got the idea he’s robotic. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
He also confirmed Apple is bringing some manufacturing back to the U.S. No guarantees how much, though. [Bloomberg News]
Get psyched for Skype voice messages. [The Verge]
Hey Best Buy (and all other mega corporations): Maybe don’t assume you can just rip off a startup’s proprietary technology? [Redeye VC]
International fugitive John McAfee has been apprehended in Guatemala, reportedly for entering the country illegally. No word on whether the Vice guys are screwed. [New York Times]
Michael Arrington is very peeved at Instagram pulling Twitter integration. So peeved he felt it necessary to slap on a Winnie the Pooh hat and write a rant. [TechCrunch]
This is what the earth looks like at night. [NASA]
Are your tweeted-out Instagram pictures of Christmas lights looking a little busted? Sorry to rain on your lifecasting parade, but that’s not some temporary glitch. AllThingsD reports that Instagram has disabled the “cards” that make your snapshots show up all pretty in your Twitter feed, so they’re likely to show up cropped or otherwise effed.
Fun with Theology
Pope Benedict is due to start tweeting December 12, under the handle @pontifex. His Holiness has almost 375,000 followers already, and that number’s still inching slowly northward.
But will those tweets be infallible? Are we going to get into some terrible theological muddle over a typo? Nope! The BBC says tweets don’t qualify under the doctrine:
15 Minutes Into the Future
Well, this certainly inspires a lot of feelings: Rutgers’ Social Media Information Lab has just launched a new project dubbed The Beat, with pairs geotagged Instagram photos with the location their were taken on Google Street View. As The Atlantic points out, it’s a playful use of the photo-sharing app’s API, similar to This is Now, Read More
Thanksgiving beat out Hurricane Sandy as the most-Instagrammed event ever, solidifying the photo platform as more of a Path-type social network than the future of citizen journalism. [PandoDaily]
The Wiki Weapon Project could be testing its 3D printed guns by end of year. [The Guardian]
Courts continue to wrangle over the legality of collecting texts and data from cell phones to use as evidence. [The New York Times]
Facebook has finally admitted it will soon share the data it collects from your profile with external websites and ad networks. [GigaOm]
Can the Wii U save Nintendo? [The New York Times]
Dailybooth, the original platform for gratuitous selfies, is shutting down. At least we’ll always have Instagram. [The Next Web]
Remember when YouTube unleashed a slew of investments in branded content channels? Now it’s doubling down and infusing even more cash in content. Pity then that we can’t recall the name of a single one of those original investments. [AdAge]
Spotify is seeking a $3 billion valuation, down from a reported $4 billion round the Times wrote about back in May. [Wall Street Journal]
The Brooklyn Beta Summer Camp–akin to San Francisco’s Dogpatch Labs–recently finished its 12-week accelerator program. Adweek surveys the companies, the program and of course, the pivots. [Adweek]
Kim Dotcom’s new site is finally live at Mega.co.nz. That whole Me.Ga didn’t work out so well with the Gabon government, which owns the .Ga extension. [Mega.co.nz]