Who “Owns” Your Followers & Instagram’s Facebook Integration


Top Story: Instagram Gets Deeper Facebook Integration

From the start, we haven’t had very many complaints about photo-sharing and social network app Instagram. Not only have we had the ability to share our photos with our Instagram network, but we’ve also been able to send our self-filtered photos to various social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more. But this week, Instagram’s Facebook integration got a little deeper, making photo viewing and interacting much easier through the Facebook platform. Previously, when you sent an Instagram photo to Facebook, it would show up as a small thumbnail hosted on Instagram’s servers. If one of your friends clicked on the thumbnail, they would be taken to the external Instagram website to view the photo. Now, when you send an Instagram photo to Facebook, it shows up full-size and high resolution. If a friend clicks on the photo, it enlarges within the Facebook page, just like any other photo on Facebook does.

Going a step further, Instagram photos can now easily be shared, tagged, and commented on, just like any other Facebook photo. This means Facebook users will likely be seeing Instagram photos in their newsfeeds much more than in the past. Which also leads us to believe that more and more users will be signing up for Instagram in the near future.

We’re thrilled by this development as it means we can now use Instagram as our main photo-sharing application, without worrying about sending photos to Facebook that our friends wouldn’t be able to interact with or be tagged in. In case you didn’t hear, Instagram was just named the largest mobile social network– and this is only going to help it grow even larger!


Under the Radar: Who Owns Your Company’s Twitter Followers

We came across an interesting story this week about Twitter followers and “ownership.”  The story goes that Noah Kravitz, an employee at mobile app and device review site PhoneDog, began cultivating a Twitter following for the company in 2006.  Then, when he left the company in 2010, he changed the handle name and “took” the company’s 17,000 followers with him.  In July of the following year, PhoneDog sued Kravitz for $340,000  – $2.50/month/follower for 18 months.

There are a lot of arguments to consider in this ground-breaking case.  How do you calculate the value of a follower on Twitter ie how did PhoneDog decide $2.50/month was the value for them?  Who was the real value-add for the followers – PhoneDog or Kravitz? Also, the fundamental idea of having a fool-proof (is there such a thing?) social media policy in place at your company comes in to play – if it is clearly stated from the get-go that corporate Twitter handle followers “belong” to the company and not the individual user behind the handle, can a company prevent follower “theft?”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out –  a hearing in the case is scheduled for January 26 in San Francisco.


Around the Hub: MBTA, MassDOT Blow Opportunity for Good Press (Shocker)

A Tufts Graduate student has created a unique promotion to get the city of Boston involved with the design of the new train station at Gilman Square in Somerville that crowdsources to get ideas to improve the station design. The student has created an impressive kit to get you started as well, including creating a virtual tour of what the station is purposed to look like – to give everyone a chance to visualize and imagine more improvements.

As you would expect, the MBTA, MassDOT and any other government run organization has nothing to do with this. It would have made sense for these organizations to do so, especially with the large amount of bad press and social media chatter is always surrounding them. Simply approving of the contest and donating a 3 month pass (or something more exciting, like a years worth) would have got them a serious amount of positive press.

They are currently perceived as organizations that do not listen to customer feedback, have a record mechanical failures, and have trains in very poor shape. They hay be underfunded, but they also don’t do themselves any favors with their overall forward facing image.

By not embracing this creative use of the existing talent in Boston – the MBTA in particular – has demonstrated that even when presented with a no-effort-needed opportunity, they will not pursue it even when it would have been a large boost to reputation. If there was a good reason they decided not to affiliate themselves I would be interested to hear it.


Event of the Week: 2012 International CES (CES)

Today marks the beginning of the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, CES, held over four days in Las Vegas. The list of brands in attendance is a veritable who’s who when it comes to consumer brands: Microsoft, Ford, Verizon, AT&T, Unilever, Intel, Ericsson – and the list goes on.  For those who can’t be there, Spike TV is covering the trade show on television and online.

Some cool things happening at this year’s event:

  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s Keynote Address (Monday, 6:30 PM PST): Microsoft has used the CES keynote stage in previous years to unveil innovative new products, including the original Xbox and Avatar Kinect.
  • PMDA Awards (Monday, 7:30PM PST): While the The PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association Awards may be a mouthful, there is an impressive line-up of honorees – the CEOs of Sony and Shutterfly, a Pullitzer Prize Winner, and a Nobel Prize Winner will all be recognized.
  • Last Gadget Standing (Thursday, 10:30 AM PST): Last Gadget Standing challenges contenders to give the product demo of their lives. At stake: bragging rights as the product “most likely to change the face of technology.” See all the winners strut their stuff in this inventive, fast-paced competition. Guest emcees Gary Dell’Abate and Jon Hein from the Howard Stern Show will host the event.
  • Mobile Apps Showdown (Thursday, 12:30 PM PST): Apps producers will have two minutes to demo their app, and an applause-o-meter will measure audience enthusiasm to determine the winners. Guest emcees Gary Dell’Abate and Jon Hein from the Howard Stern Show will host the event.

We’re excited to hear about the new, innovative ideas that surface from this year’s event.  How can you experience CES from your cubicle?  You can follow their handle, @intlces, or use the hashtag #CES


What are the top Social Media/PR stories on your radar this week?  Let us know in the comments section below or via Twitter at @451heat.


451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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