Adidas Mi

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Being able to own a pair of decent Adidas sneakers might not mean anything significant for you and me, but the idea of customising your own pair of sneakers with your very own Instagram picture is something worth thinking about. As much as other sneaker brands have done the concept before, this time round Adidas is actually bringing the excitement a notch higher by letting users print their actual photos onto a pair of ZX Flux shoes from their original line. Rather than the use of just color palettes or materials to simulate the look, they now literally print photos on it. Check out the cool video from Adidas. This is another amazing idea from the sports giant, one that is highly engaging and effective. They are planning to implement this idea in August through the upcoming Mi Adidas app which is available for download on iOS and Android.

It’s pizza time!

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The proliferation of hilarious pictures with pepperoni pizza was seen around the internet lately. Jonpaul Douglass, a photographer from Los Angeles got motivated to start a rather peculiar series of photography after seeing a funny pizza graffiti tag at the place where he stayed. He then began taking pictures with actual pepperoni pizzas and have them placed at random locations, objects and surroundings. Coined the humorous “Pizza In The Wild” project, the photographer took pains to hunt for the most suitable looking pizzas around, which he managed to source for at Little Caesars pizzeria at US$5 for a large pizza. Check out more from this interesting photographer by following Douglass on Instagram or check out the hashtag “#pizzainthewild”.

Legography

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Boy, have I not been blogging a lot lately, my schedule is getting pretty insane. Nonetheless, there is always time for Lego isn’t it? Andrew Whyte, a photographer from UK has been quite popular with his unique photography personality. As he brings along this little Lego minifig, he travels around taking interesting pictures from the perspective of the little man. Calling this Legography, he has spurred the interest of many and even led to the proliferation of Lego minifig photographers riding the waves of his success on social photography sites like Instagram or Facebook.

 “As an exploration of mobile photography, the project was very enlightening and quite liberating — to know I could be just about anywhere and still keep on top of things,” says Whyte. Check out more of his stuffs at  Long Exposures.

Instagram to offer chat features

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I refer to an article on The Verge which reports that Instagram shall be adding more features with chat functions as part of it’s repertoire of services. It was reported by GigaOm, the company responsible for the next major update: private messaging. What we do know is that by the end of the year, there will be a new version of Instagram with one-on-one and group messaging features. It is good to have more chat features on the photo sharing site. However, I still believe the originality of keeping the app as a photo sharing app is still essentially the main USP of Instagram. Having more features is always a great bonus but it is crucial that it does not dilute the app’s core offerings. Chat messaging should remain at it’s minimum.

#UPSTAGRAM

The animation from Pixar studios, ‘UP’ gave the team at Hackerloop the inspiration to create something amazing. What they did was to replicate the house in the animation and use the idea of a floating house to take spectacular shots from the sky. They term this project ‘UPSTAGRAM’. Ingenious indeed. The team fiddled with Instagram’s API and created a software which established the bridge to transfer photographs on to Instagram without exactly using a smartphone. What they did was to create the software on an open source micro computer known as Raspberry Pi and fix this system on to the house. The house floats on 80 small helium balloons and it launches off in a very epic scene just like the on in ‘UP’. Nice idea there!

Ads ruining Instagram?

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Looks like it’s confirmed that more ads will be pouring into our beautifully decorated photo galleries on Instagram. As it seems, it is reported that the company would currently concentrate on pushing a rather small amount of aesthetically beautiful yet high quality photos and even videos from brands that already have a huge following in the social community. And this would be initially targeted at users from the United States. I believed I have touched on the topic of ad insertions being a very sensitive operation as it significantly causes a disruption in the aesthetics as well as the flow of user experience, if it is not done correctly. Of course, Instagram’s parent company, Facebook has now cleverly integrated the ad experience into their social platform and that is a great leading example to follow. On top of that, Instagram also has a similar option of allowing users to hide it from their feed as well as reporting possible spams to Instagram.

USERS WILL HAVE THE OPTION TO HIDE AND REPORT ADS THEY DON’T LIKE TO INSTAGRAM

Ultimately, companies has long ago took the opportunity to run some of their marketing efforts on this photo driven social platform and it comes as no surprise that Instagram will provide more companies with expanded options to have their brands being noticed. While there are possible risks of brands losing their followers, the idea of having more exposure through ads would still ultimately help companies to establish revenues and stay operational. At the end of the day, Instagram remains a photo-driven social platform for users to upload their pictures and videos and allowing them to hold ownership to their own visual properties. That promise to users remain intact.

Advertising on Instagram

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More and more social media companies are looking to monetize their investments by introducing advertising on their platforms. Then there are companies like Facebook who started having advertisements on the side of the page, which did not directly hindered our user experience. And there is YouTube, a video sharing platform which slots in irritating, disruptive 5 seconds to 60 seconds advertisements before videos. It is no surprise that Instagram, the picture and short video sharing platform has decided to adopt the same process. With 150 million active users, Instagram is prepared to introduce advertising. The company’s director of business operations, Emily White said that advertising should begin selling ads by next year. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram has significantly increase the amount of users on Instagram by 100 million and Instagram itself, has also reported an increase of 20 million active users.

Instagram is definitely actively pursuing new advertisers and has beefed up the staff rooster to include new employees that would help manage client relationships with new brands. Some of the clients that were being approached includes giants like Ford, Williams-Sonoma and Coca-Cola. “We want to make money in the long term, but we don’t have any short-term pressure,” White told the Journal.

Currently, there is no news or leaks about how the ads would look like. However, WSJ reports that it could appear on the app’s Discover page or search page. Advertisers are also keen to link pictures of their products to their websites. My own opinion of such a move is that it is a logical move to bring on more revenue to sustain a product. However, the placements of advertising more often of less, disrupts user experience and causes unpleasant aesthetics if it is not executed correctly. I really do hope that Instagam will do a good job on this.