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Top 7 Ways Authors Are Using Instagram

Words are for us as writers what computers are to office workers. They are the lifeline to pretty much every facet of our work. Not only do we use them to communicate our art form, but we obsess, play, hate, love and need them in order to do what we do. Sometimes we need a rest from all the word playing—and hating.

Where can we find that rest without cutting ourselves off even further from social exchange, but also without having to use even more words? It can be done—with Instagram. Not only can you use Instagram, but as an author, you should be using Instagram. For more than one or two reasons.

There are a lot of authors who use Instagram in ways that may be entertaining. It’s entertaining in the same way the crazy lady in the grocery store is who pulls out every gallon of milk from the dairy cooler in order to get the one that has the furthest date of expiration. Yeah, it’s weird and maybe a little funny, but mostly kind of pathetic.

There are plenty of famous authors who evoke that kind of reaction on Instagram. Don’t be one of those authors. Instead, consider some of the following rational ways to use Instagram to help further your author name and influence.

  1. To Follow Bloggers Who Review Books
    This reason really shouldn’t have to be explained. I mean, duh – if you follow enough book-bloggers, you increase the chance that one or more of them will review your book, which is read by said blogger’s audience. Whether that audience is 100 or 100,000 – isn’t it worth it to reach that amount of potential buyers of your book for free?

 

  1. For Self-Promotion and Marketing
    Instagram can be used for promoting your name or your newest book. You can host a contest with a free copy of your book as the prize. You can ask for photo submissions that revolve around the theme of your book or you can just use photos to connect to your fans and readers. As BuzzFeed’s article on book covers altered to include James Franco shows us, humor can be a great marketing strategy.

Inspire Yourself and Your Fans

Visual imagery can be the source of inspiration on a daily basis. All you need to do is catalogue it and you have your own visual diary for defeating the worst case of writer’s block. Not only can these photos inspire you, but they may equally inspire your readers and fans, who will in turn, recommend their network to follow you as well. Many writers use inspirational tweets and Facebook posts to reach their readers. Your followers will respond well to inspirational messages that reaffirm their beliefs.

Collaborate with Your Fans
This could be a marketing project or it could be research for a new novel. Projects can range from social research to just-for-fun, to things like #100HappyDays, which seems to be a combination of both. 100HappyDays is inspirational, fun, challenging and engaging. Hosting a project like this could provide you with tons of material for your next book, or it could simply attract a ton of followers — aka, readers.

  1. What better place to advertise your stunning new book cover than Instagram? Book covers are certainly one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal for attracting a new reader. I don’t know about you, but if I come across an author I’ve never heard of, but they write in a genre I like to read and they have a fantastically interesting book cover – I am much more likely to purchase that book. By the way, this is also another reason to never cut any corners on your cover art.

 

  1. Give Fans/Readers an Inside Look at Your Life
    You don’t have to reveal all the skeletons in your closet, but a few pictures of your most recent vacation, your adorable pets, a weekend trip to the harbor and a ride on a boat will get you noticed — people love this kind of stuff. The more you draw in your readers and fans by showing that you’re just like them, the more they will be inclined to follow you and interact with your more professional work.
  1. Follow Other Authors
    Especially if you are a new author, following more experienced authors certainly can’t hurt. Even the most experienced author is not exempt from gaining insight from other authors. Networking with other authors as a new or previously unpublished author can be eye-opening and present you with opportunities you may not have otherwise come across.

Instagram is one of the best social apps you can use as an author, because not only does it give us a rest from all those words, but it can be used in so many ways—personally or professionally. You just have start thinking less in words and more in pictures.

Source:

https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2015/01/top-7-ways-authors-are-using-instagram/

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Instagram says hackers swiped contact info for verified users

Instagram just suffered a potentially serious (and this time, very real) data breach. The social photo service is sending out alerts that intruders got access to the phone numbers and email addresses for a number of “high-profile” users by exploiting a bug in Instagram’s programming interface. The attackers didn’t obtain passwords, and Instagram says it has already fixed the bug, but it’s warning all verified users out of an “abundance of caution.”

 

We’ve asked Instagram for more details and will let you know if it can shed more light on the situation, such as when the breach happened and how many people were targeted. It’s also unclear if this is related to the recent hack that compromised Selena Gomez’s Instagram account.

The breach isn’t as severe as it could have been, but it’s definitely not what Instagram needs in the wake of the Gomez incident. The social network is growing very rapidly, but it might run into trouble if big-name users are hesitant to stick around over security fears. The apparently prompt fix suggests that Instagram is at least on top of these issues when they do come up.

Source:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/08/30/instagram-verified-user-contact-data-breach/

Teens favoring Snapchat and Instagram over Facebook, says eMarketer

Facebook is losing appeal among teens and young adults which is contributing to generally slowing growth for the platform, according to the latest projections from research firm eMarketer.

At the same time alternative social apps Snapchat and (Facebook-owned) Instagram are seeing rising and double-digit growth in the same youth demographic — suggesting younger users are favoring newer and more visual communications platforms.

“Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate — using visual content,” noted eMarketer forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco in a statement.

It’s the second consecutive year of expected usage declines for Facebook among this advertiser-coveted group, according to the researcher.

eMarketer suggests some tweens are even skipping adopting Facebook entirely (it calls them “Facebook nevers”) and going straight to the rival platforms, even as remaining tweens and teens appear less engaged on Facebook — logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.

While having slipping relevance among a coveted ad demographic is obviously not good news for a social behemoth whose business is dependent on ad revenue, Facebook does have the consolation of also owning one of the two main youth-friendly alternative platforms: Instagram. (Aka, ‘if you can’t be it, buy it’.)

Still, eMarketer is also projecting that the acquisition that got away from Zuck, Snapchat, will overtake Instagram and Facebook in the total teen (12 to 17) & young adult (18 to 24) ages for the first time in 2017 — boosting its share of US social network users to 40.8 per cent, and projected to push close to a majority by 2021. (Though Instagram is also forecast to maintain its greater reach through this timeframe.)

Back in 2013, when reports of Facebook’s spurned acquisition attempts of Snapchat surfaced, it followed fast on the heels of the company reporting a first-time decline in young teens using its service daily.

 

Nearly four years later Facebook’s problem with keeping teens happy has only got bigger — but the company’s success at using Instagram to successfully clone Snapchat’s features has helped mitigate the issue. (Even if it means Facebook’s corporate motto should really now read: ‘Move fast and clone things’.)

Source:

Teens favoring Snapchat and Instagram over Facebook, says eMarketer

French Instagram fitness star killed by exploding whipped cream canister

Rebecca Burger, a French fitness blogger, has died after a whipped cream dispenser exploded into her chest.

Burger, who had 160,000 Instagram followers and more than 55,000 Facebook fans, died over the weekend.

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Citing local reports in France, the BBC reported that she died of cardiac arrest after the accident, despite being attended to by medics.

Her family announced her death on Facebook, calling it a “domestic accident.” A warning about what her family described as a faulty dispenser involved in her death has also been posted on her Instagram. The message said the canister “exploded and struck Rebecca’s chest, causing her death”.

 

The dispensers shoot gas into a metal capsule, which keeps the pressure high. The BBC said a French consumer group had warned readers for years about faulty connectors that could break, allowing the gas capsules to be expelled at high speed.

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The BBC said such dispensers were involved in enough accidents that the government office for consumers issued a warning, saying the accidents stretched back as far as 2010 and could occur even after years of use.

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Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/french-instagram-fitness-star-rebecca-burger-killed-by-exploding-whipped-cream-canister-2017-6

A Men’s Label, Born on Instagram

Two men — one in Miami, the other in New York, both passionate about suits — stumble upon each other on Instagram. They feel a connection. Mutual respect on social media turns into real-life camaraderie. They meet, they click, they draw up a plan.

A business is born.

That is the origin story of Musika Frère, a label that specializes in custom suits that often come in unusual colors or patterns, and has drawn a clientele that includes Jay Z, Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart and even Beyoncé.

Its founders, Aleks Musika, 32, and Davidson Petit-Frère, 27, are somewhat famous in their own right: Mr. Petit-Frère has over 200,000 followers on Instagram, and Mr. Musika more than 178,000.

“Guys in suits and guys taking pictures of themselves really didn’t happen back then,” Mr. Musika said of the period when he and Mr. Petit-Frère first started their pages, about five years ago.

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Mr. Petit-Frère said: “We had a following. We just didn’t have a product.”

The brand they eventually came up with, at a Miami public library in 2013, reflects their particularities and interests. “We take inspiration from the ’20s, ’30s, and remix it,” Mr. Petit-Frère said. “We call it neo-classical tailoring.”

Mr. Petit-Frère added, “It’s a small detail, but it’s also a big detail.”

Neither designer comes from a traditional fashion background. Mr. Petit-Frère, a native New Yorker, began working in real estate at 18. “I was wearing polo shirts and pants and square shoes to the office,” he said. “I realized I wasn’t a sharp dresser.” One of his co-workers referred him to his tailor, Badger & Welsh Bespoke, in Midtown. “As I made more money, I started to buy more suits,” he said, “and I realized my business was getting a big boost from that.”

Mr. Petit-Frère sent friends to Badger & Welsh, and he was eventually offered a line of his own, P. Frère, under the company’s umbrella. “In the beginning, I was more of an apprentice,” he said. “I learned about measuring, tailoring, the construction of suits. I learned the lingo and the history.”

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Instagram adds augmented reality face filters

Facebook’s Snapchat-style augmented reality face filters are coming to Instagram. Eight different filters will be available starting today, including a few different crowns, ones that make a person look like a koala or a rabbit, and another that sends math equations spinning around your head.

 

Instagram’s face filters will work whether you’re using the front or the back camera on your phone. You can find them by opening up the camera interface in the app and tapping the new icon in the bottom right corner. The filters can be used in any of Instagram’s shooting modes — photo, video, or even Boomerang. You can access them by downloading the new 10.21 update on the App Store or Google Play Store.

The idea of using augmented reality technology to map and apply animations to a user’s face was popularized by Snapchat, which bought Looksery — a company that pioneered the tech — back in 2015. Facebook responded by snatching up Belarusian startup MSQRD in early 2016, and the tech made its way into Facebook Stories earlier this year.

This is far from the first idea Facebook has lifted from Snap — adding Snapchat’s 24-hour Stories feature to Instagram is the real molten core of this entire drama — but augmented reality face filters were one of the last blockbuster Snapchat features that Instagram was missing. They are also just one small part of the much larger vision Facebook has for augmented reality, which the company laid out in detail at last month’s F8 conference. (Snap, of course, shares a similar vision.)

 

Instagram is also adding a few other features to the app today. Users will now be able to add hashtag “stickers” to a photo or video when posting it to their Story. Viewers will be able to tap these stickers to explore other media that’s been shared with the same hashtag, the same way you can already tag other users or apply geostickers. A new “rewind” video feature (also “inspired” by Snapchat) and an eraser have been added to the app as well.

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Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/16/15643062/instagram-face-filters-snapchat-facebook-features

SIZZLING SARA UNDERWOOD BLEW UP INSTAGRAM FOR EARTH DAY IN AN INCREDIBLY SKIMPY BIKINI

We know Sara Underwood’s thing is traveling the world and posing for photos in some of the most beautiful spots imaginable. So it only makes sense that she gifted her followers with a sexy Instagram post on Saturday April 22, a.k.a. Earth Day.

She captioned the pic with an earnest message stating that she was participating in one of the worldwide marches for science and wrote that “Our planet is at a critical juncture, and the science regarding it is under attack. Our voices matter, so I hope you get out and speak up for Planet Earth as well.” 

Whatever your views on climate change, it’s easy to appreciate the fact Sara is totally committed to nature and is so willing to reveal herself as she enjoys everything from the mountains to the Hawaiian islands. A few more shots from her Instagram below give us plenty of reasons to get into the natural world, especially when she’s there. 

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Source:

http://www.maxim.com/women/sara-underwood-tiny-bikini-earth-day-2017-4

Scale matters: Advertisers are opting for Instagram over Snapchat

Instagram is mimicking Snapchat, and Snapchat is feeling the pain.

Eight months since Instagram rolled out its Stories feature and just over a month since it launched ads on it widely, it has already surpassed Snapchat. The feature not only has more people using it daily (200 million versus Snapchat’s last reported 156 million) but is also increasingly attracting more ad dollars. Agencies tend to drift where the action is, and, right or wrong, the general feeling is Instagram is on the upswing while the early buzz over Snapchat is fading.

“Many of our clients are deprioritizing Snapchat,” said Tom Buontempo, president at Attention, KBS’s social media arm, who declined to provide names of specific advertisers but whose clients include BMW, Carvel, Novartis and Spotify. “It’s no secret that Instagram has Snapchat in the crosshairs.”

Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, lets users create multiple ephemeral videos and string them together for a 24-hour period. Brands have increasingly been using Instagram Stories, both to post organic content as well as to run ads. A combination of Instagram’s pure reach, targeting and retargeting capabilities and a more interactive relationship with reps has made Stories an attractive bet for brands. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s growth has been a concern for the past few months, with Instagram Stories’ rapid rise coinciding with its slow-down. Since Instagram Stories launched in August, Snapchat’s growth has fallen 82 percent, according to TechCrunch.

While Capital One, Nike, Ben and Jerry’s, and Netflix were among 30 brands that tested out ads on Instagram Stories before they were widely rolled out in March, brands including Honda, Apartments.com, Chobani and Five Hour Energy have run ads on the platform more recently.

Honda, which ran an ad on Instagram Stories for its “Flipbook Series” campaign on April 10, to market the Honda Clarity, chose Instagram over Snapchat for the campaign, because it let the brand tap into the scale of its 1.4 million-plus existing Instagram fans, said Mike Dossett, associate director of digital strategy at RPA, Honda’s agency. Brands already have large audiences on Instagram and often have to do absolutely nothing to get instant engagement at scale on their Story posts. Plus, they can easily tap into Facebook’s underlying infrastructure.

“From buying and optimization to measurement and reporting, Instagram ads (including Stories) are embedded directly within the Facebook ads ecosystem that buyers know and understand,” he said. “That undoubtedly removes a barrier for advertisers with entrenched processes or less nimble buying protocols.”

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For Ben and Jerry’s, it was all about scale. The brand was a part of a beta test between January and March, and ran ads on Instagram Stories to promote its new Pint Slices. The ice-cream maker saw a higher CPM rate than its usual benchmark, according to Jay Curley, Ben and Jerry’s senior global marketing manager, and the brand plans to run more ads over the summer.

“In general, we want to serve up relevant stories to our fans wherever they are,” he said. “We have a robust following on Instagram, and people are not only spending more time there but also consuming Stories there.”

It’s also far easier to buy ads on the platform as opposed to Snapchat. Unlike Snapchat, which does not have self-serve advertising options outside of on-demand geofilters (although one for Snap ads is expected soon), Instagram provides marketers with a unified dashboard for buying and tracking ads, making it easier for clients to target and track analytics across a more unified dashboard, said Attention’s Buontempo.

The larger Facebook ecosystem also provides for more nuanced targeting, said Ben Kunz, svp of marketing and content at Mediassociates. Brands can reach people with specific interests in ice cream, for example, or match targeting to their own CRM lists, with all of Facebook’s data toys at their disposal. Instagram also has more flexible buying options, letting buyers buy ads on a performance-based cost-per-click basis apart from a cost-per-thousand impressions basis.

“Both Instagram and Snapchat stories are clever full-screen immersive mobile ad experiences, but taking over a mobile screen is no longer exactly rocket science,” said Kunz. “So it’s not the ‘billboard’ space that matters; it’s the quality of the data behind it. Better audience data always equals better advertising performance.”

Still, it’s not a zero-sum game. Clients have been increasing their Instagram budgets overall to tap into Instagram Stories, said Danielle Johnsen Kerr, director of social and editorial strategy at Deutsch, but they aren’t necessarily shifting already-allotted Snapchat dollars to Instagram. Snapchat’s young audience is still a draw for advertisers, and the platform has also been making efforts to ramp up on measurement and to roll out more self-serve options. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, will also advertise on Snapchat in the summer.

“But it is dependent on the audiences our clients are trying to grab,” she said.

Source:

https://digiday.com/marketing/scale-matters-advertisers-opting-instagram-snapchat/

Irina Shayk Shares ‘Impossible’ Instagram Flaunting Her Bikini Body

Just weeks after giving birth, Irina Shayk is back in a bikini. The Victoria’s Secret model, who actually walked the runway at the annual show with a baby bump, shared a picture of herself in a black bathing suit on Instagram, relaxing in the pool on a pink lips-shape floatie. “Pre-sunset #currentsituation,” she wrote in the caption.

Many commenters were incredibly impressed — and largely in disbelief — with the ab snapback of the Russian model, who welcomed daughter Lea de Seine Shayk Cooper with partner Bradley Cooper on March 24.

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“You did not… just have a baby…Look amazing Irina!” one wrote. Others wrote “body goals,” “amazing,” and the “most beautiful woman in the world.”

Some, however, were skeptical that the photo was taken on the day it was posted. “4 weeks after giving birth, who even has the time or effort to take a image like this right after giving birth,” one shared. Another wrote, “I mean it’s impossible even for her to look like this after 3 weeks. I love her, but this has to be an old pic.”

Others jumped to Shayk’s defense. M.A. Garcia said that the body “needs time to recover, yes. But absolutely normal to hit your pre-pregnancy weight in a few weeks after giving birth. Especially someone her size whom probably didn’t gain much to begin with.”

As Sherry Ross, MD, a women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., explained to Cosmopolitan, what a woman’s body looked like before giving birth has a lot to do with how fast someone returns to their prebaby figure. So the fact that Shayk’s a model and was extremely fit prior to getting pregnant, plays a lot into how she’s able to look so fit in a bikini already.

But, it’s important to keep in mind that Shayk isn’t necessarily “normal.” As Ross tells her patients, “It takes nine months to go through the pregnancy process, so allow yourself nine months during the postpartum period to have your body return to normal.”

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Source:

https://www.yahoo.com/style/irina-shayk-shares-impossible-instagram-flaunting-bikini-body-145943761.html

Instagram Debuts a New Pinterest-Like Feature

Photo sharing app Instagram added a new feature that challenges online bulletin board Pinterest.

Instagram’s users can now save their posted photos and videos in private collection, similar to what users of Pinterest have been able to do for some time. Saving posts on Instagram gives users a way to bookmark items they want to remember for the future, such as places to travel or products to buy.

The change to Instagram builds on a feature it introduced in December that lets users save posts from friends. Facebook-owned (FB, -0.18%) Instagram said on Monday that 46% of its users have saved at least one post since then.

Now users can create multiple collections of saved Instagram posts, and name those collections. For now, collections are private, meaning no one else can see them besides the users that create them. That’s slightly different than Pinterest, where users can choose to share items publicly.

Instagram hasn’t been afraid to copy the features of some of its rivals. In its quest to compete with messaging app Snapchat (SNAP, +1.65%), for example, Instagram has cloned a number of details including Stories, a feature for collecting and sharing photos and videos about individual events.

Last week, Instagram also updated its messaging service to be more like Snapchat’s by integrating its messaging feature with disappearing and direct messages.

Source:

http://fortune.com/2017/04/17/instagram-pinterest/

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