SnapChat Stories, Facebook Updates, … & Now YouTube Vlogs: Instagram Is More Than Just A Square Album Now

Three days ago (6/20/18), I noticed a new icon on the top-right corner of my Instagram homepage. It’s… a TV?

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Since this feature is called IGTV, I had a feeling that it’s meant for people to post long videos on the platform. And sure enough, I was right.

It’s strange for Instagram to have that feature, but not really.

For one, Instagram has been and is mostly known for its square albums and images.

When Instagram implemented SnapChat’s Story feature, the platform took on a new image as a storytelling, vlogging, and lively platform. I say “lively” because videos bring liveliness to a platform that’s full of still images. And I say “vlogging” because the Story feature is essentially a feature for people to vlog.

And for those of you who don’t know this: Facebook owns Instagram and allows user to share their Instagram pictures on Facebook and Twitter posts.

So how will IGTV be used? Why was it added to Instagram?

Since Instagram has become a popular hub for bloggers and vloggers, the IGTV will allow users to upload longer vlogs – which is something that users couldn’t really do with Instagram Stories unless they upload a series of images and clips together, or compile them in a Highlights reel.

More importantly, studies show that video content tend to attract users more than still images. (There are a lot of studies on that, so you can look those up. They’re quite interesting to read.)

What makes Instagram an interesting social media platform is how it displays and organizes graphic content.

  • Users judge other users by the content in their square albums.
  • Stories can be previewed by tapping on a user’s profile image that contains a gradient ring.
  • A user’s Stories won’t be featured on another user’s homepage unless he/she is being followed by that other user.
  • Highlights of Stories can be added to a user’s profile so that profile visitors can replay Story content that are separated into topics or categories.

Yes, there are some negative thing to say about how Instagram displays content. For instance, the replacement of chronological display with curated content based on the kind of content users interact with has been heavily criticized by users who wish to see their friends’ content displayed before the content of other more popular (and sponsored) bloggers on the platform.

But overall, Instagram’s graphic platform makes it “win” over other social media platforms.

Facebook heavily relies on textual posts, the news media, and its emergency geo-location updates to make engaging content (because the news media has pretty much taken over the platform); Twitter relies on short textual posts to make engaging content (even though they increased their character limit from 140 to 280); and SnapChat relies on their disappearing feature to make engaging content (even though they added a save feature that totally goes against how some people don’t want their posts to be permanent).

Instagram doesn’t show any text unless a user wants to view the description of a post, the comments section, or a Story post that contains text. Nowadays, people are so lazy to read text that we love to rely on images and videos to receive information. And that’s exactly why Instagram is performing so well as a social media platform – because people can quickly glance over content and decide whether or not it’s worth their time.

So, is IGTV going to replace YouTube?

No. YouTube will always be the ultimate online-TV platform because of how many YouTubers, the music industry, and the movie industry rely on the platform’s popularity and accessibility through smartphones, computers, and smart TVs. Also, YouTube is known for their landscape videos and thumbnails.

Instagram promotes the portrait orientation because of how landscape content are pixelated when they’re previewed as squares. I haven’t tried the new IGTV feature yet, but I imagine that it promotes portrait videos instead of the traditional landscape videos.

Will IGTV be made available on smart TVs?

Probably. Because Instagram now allows people to upload pre-recorded videos instead of videos that are recorded through the platform’s camera, IGTV will probably have videos recorded from high-quality cameras, and edited from video-editing software. And, since phone cameras are becoming increasingly better in quality, we can expect more quality video uploads from amateur videographers on Instagram.

What’s the future of Instagram?

Instagram will continue to promote Facebook’s existence.

Maybe Instagram will have a “square magazine” (which will be different from the Carousel feature) 😂.

If Instagram becomes a news media hub… well actually, it’s HIGHLY UNLIKELY that Instagram will become a news media hub like Facebook and SnapChat. Why? Again, it’s because of how Instagram’s graphic platform doesn’t really promote textual content. The news media like to provide informational descriptions with their photographs. And because of Instagram’s layout, (negative) photographs from the news media won’t really stand out among other people’s (positive and personal) travel and selfie pictures. Facebook (Instagram’s owner) has learned from their mistakes that news content is re-postable and engaging, but not exactly appealing in a positive way.

Somehow, Instagram has maintained itself as a mostly positive (and narcissistic content) for any user to easily get addicted to the platform. A lot of YouTube vloggers who make “simple” personal videos will probably migrate to Instagram because of that, while YouTubers who make videos that make more cinematic videos will most likely stay on YouTube.

Singers and talk show hosts will most likely continue to rely on YouTube because of Vevo and how YouTube’s algorithm always favors celebrities (huge paid promotions) over small content creators.

Last, but not least, WILL MORE PEOPLE GET MONETIZED ON INSTAGRAM?

Highly doubt it. Instagram won’t shut down like Vine. I can’t come up with a reasonable explanation why though.

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“Things I Learned In College” (#1): How To Use My Smartphone

I can’t stop thinking about the funny and hard things I learned at my previous college.

Sometimes, I wish I learned these things earlier.

*Sigh* Well, at least it’s a good thing that I learned them.


 

#1 How to use a smartphone

No joke. I got a smartphone as my high school graduation present.

At first, the smartphone felt huuuge in my small hands compared to my first cellphone.

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New phone (Samsung) vs. old phone (Nokia)

It took me forever (the entire freshman year of college) to learn how to use a smartphone. (And I’m still learning how to use it as I continue to update it.)

I feel bad for all my family and friends who had to put-up with me trying to use my phone. My family would have a tough-time communicating with me because of long-distance calls, while my friends and I were really into texting each other.

It’s frustrating. Smartphones have so many features, and it’s difficult to manage all of them.

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Here are some of the things I learned (because I feel like listing them, and looking back at this post with giggles):

1.) There are different volume settings for ringtone, media, notifications, system, and calling.

2.) Make sure you completely mute your phone whenever you need to. (Make sure you manually adjust all the volume bars for the ringtone, media, and calling modes.)

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3.) If you call someone with a low calling volume, and you tell them that you can’t hear them when they can hear you on their end, then they’ll think you’re crazy (and most likely try calling you again to get the same results).

4.) If you call someone and they sound muffled even though your calling volume is fine, then either you, the person you’re calling, or both of you are not in a calling-friendly setting.

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5.) It’s hard to use the touchscreen when you’re in calling-mode because the touchscreen automatically turns-off and blacks-out in that mode.

6.) You need to download an emoji keyboard from the app store because your default keyboard doesn’t always have the emoji option in all the messaging apps.

7.) You don’t have to use the default wallpaper and screensaver options.

8.) Don’t use live wallpapers and screensavers even though they’re so cool and your old cellphone never had those options.

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9.) A “butt-dial” means that you accidentally made a phone call, regardless of whether or not your butt was the cause of it.

10.) You can lock your phone so that you don’t accidentally touch any applications (and accidentally “butt-dial” people).

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11.) Use your (then-new) Facebook account to keep yourself updated with college events and news.

12.) Facebook Messenger (supposedly) has a clearer-sounding calling feature than my default phone app.

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13.) Don’t keep any apps running in the background because they use up your 4G, and consequentially slow down the loading-time for your apps.

14.) Just turn-off your phone whenever you travel. I always remember to turn-on “Airplane Mode”, but I usually forget to turn it off.

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15.) You can delay message sending.

16.) Don’t delay message sending anymore. This feature causes a lot of problems, including failed message sending. (My messages don’t always send at the predicted time. They either don’t send at all, or get sent much, much later.)

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And last, but not least…

17.) It’s okay. You were trying to get accustomed to new technology. Some of the problems you had were either due to the manufacturer, the not-so-calling-friendly environment, or just your clumsiness. Just thank God that this isn’t your phone:

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A burned Samsung Galaxy S6. Samsung is known for their burning smartphones (especially the infamous Note 7).

Smart Bra

Ladies, ditch the Fitbit and Apple Watch for this stylish, techy bra. Guys, feel free to do that too.

The OMbra is a smart bra that can measure a woman’s biometrics – heart rate, breathing rate, calories burned, and other metrics. The data is recorded is recorded through a sensor located in the lower band of the bra that runs along the rib cage. That data is then wirelessly transferred to the OmSignal mobile app. That app has a feature called OmRun that measures distance, pace, breathing rhythm, and fatigue levels during cardio workouts. The bra is available for $150.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall

Samsung issued a worldwide recall for the Galaxy Note 7 after 35 people complained that the device caught on fire and melted while charging.

Samsung estimated that about 0.1% of all the devices they issued are at risk of getting damaged while charging. They also stated that they sold about 2.5 million devices since the launch date.

Those who ordered the device are offered to get one of two smartphones – the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge – for free next week in the U.S.

They will also be given accessories specific to the Note 7 and a $25 gift card or bill credit.