Facebook’s Instagram adds new photo sizes to keep users, attract ads

admin   •   August 28, 2015   •   2638

 

A most popular Instagram page is displayed on a mobile device screen in Pasadena, California August 14, 2013. REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI

A most popular Instagram page is displayed on a mobile device screen in Pasadena, California August 14, 2013.
REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI

Instagram has added new layout options in addition to its signature square for pictures and videos in a bid to attract more advertisers and to stop users defecting to more flexible services such as Snapchat.

The move is the first major alteration to the photo-sharing, social media service since Facebook Inc bought it for $1 billion in 2012, and addresses the wishes of many of its 300 million users, who have been constrained by the square format.

“It boils down to giving advertisers and users more options,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a social media marketing and advertising analyst. “You want people to be able to see more of your ad. It’s something advertisers are definitely going to be interested in.”

One in five photos and videos posted on the service do not fit the square format, Instagram said in a blog post.

“Friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end,” it said.

From Thursday, Instagram’s web-based service and its mobile apps running on Google Inc’s Android system and Apple Inc’s iOS will allow portrait and landscape formats, giving both users and paying advertisers more options.

The move should help Instagram in its battle with newer rivals such as Snapchat for users in the fast-moving messaging and media-sharing market.

At the same time, it should attract more advertising revenue for Instagram, which said in June it would open its platform to all advertisers by the end of the year, rather than just to select brands.

Instagram is expected to generate nearly $600 million in advertising revenue by the end of this year and $2.8 billion in 2017, according to projections from research firm eMarketer.

By comparison Facebook, the world’s most popular online social network, generated more than $12 billion in revenue in 2014. The growing service hit one billion users in a single day for the first time on Monday.

To promote the new formats on Thursday, Walt Disney Co released exclusive footage of its upcoming film, “Star Wars, The Force Awakens,” using the new landscape option.

(Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Big companies boycott Facebook

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

A long list of U.S. companies have pulled advertising from Facebook in support of a campaign that called out the social media giant for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms.

Ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, consumer conglomerate Unilever, and coffee chain Starbucks have nixed ads on the social media network.

And PepsiCo will do so as well, FOX Business News reported citing sources on Sunday (June 28).

The halt on PepsiCo’s advertising will run through July and August, the report said.

PepsiCo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Annually, Facebook generates $70 billion in advertising sales and about a quarter of it comes from big companies such as Unilever with the vast majority of its revenue derived from small businesses.

But the publicity around its hate speech policies have hurt its perception and stock.

On Friday (June 26), Facebook’s 8.3% decline in stock price wiped out $56 billion in market capitalization.

Responding to demands for more action, Facebook on Sunday acknowledged it has more work to do and is teaming up with civil rights groups and experts to develop more tools to fight hate speech.

Facebook said its investments in artificial intelligence have allowed it to find 90% of hate speech before users report it.

The boycott has accelerated to include other digital advertising platforms, such as Twitter. REUTERS

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Facebook closes political ads loophole ahead of U.S. presidential election

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

Facebook Inc. said on Tuesday (June 17) it would affix labels to political ads shared by users on their own feeds, closing what critics have said for years was a glaring loophole in the company’s election transparency measures.

The world’s biggest social network has attached a “paid for by” disclaimer to political ads since 2018, after facing a backlash for failing to stop Russia from using its platforms to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

But the label disappeared once people shared the ads to their own feeds, which critics said undermined its utility and allowed misinformation to continue spreading unchecked.

Facebook introduced a similar labelling approach for state news media earlier this month, but that label also sometimes drops off with sharing and does not appear when users post their own links to those outlets.

The company has been facing demands to do more to combat false viral information before the Nov. 3 presidential election, including by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who called Facebooks’s chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on June 11 to reverse his decision to exempt political ads from fact-checking.

Zuckerberg has touted transparency tools in response, arguing that voters should be able to examine statements from would-be political leaders unimpeded.

In a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday, he pledged to display a Voting Information Center at the top of U.S. users’ news feeds. He also said the company would aim to help 4 million people register to vote, double its goal for 2016. (Reuters)

(Production: Paul Warren, Gabriela Boccaccio)

Wife receives anniversary surprise from late husband

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

Ten months after the death of her husband, a wife still received a heart-warming surprise from him for their 25th wedding anniversary.

Aly Mendoza received an email from her late father regarding instructions for an anniversary surprise. The email also contained a letter for her mother.

“Apparently before my dad passed away 10 months ago, he planned everything, he even contacted and paid for a florist to deliver flowers to my mom for the coming years on every special occasion, my mom’s birthday (August 19,) Valentine’s Day, and their anniversary (June 10),” she wrote in her post.

“Even if they’re not physically together, even though he’s no longer here, he was still able to surprise and make my mom happy. Not even death could stop my dad from loving my mom and showing her how much she meant to him,” she added.

Aly said her dad picked the flowers for the bouquet: white and pink.

“White roses are special to my parents because when my dad was courting her, my mom had two suitors. She told herself that whoever gives her white roses was ‘the one and obviously it was my dad who gave her white roses,” Aly said.

Aly felt the joy her mom felt when she saw the surprise. She shared how her parent’s love endures—and not even death could make them part. AAC

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