The Key to Balancing Business and Personal Social Media

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Vine Is Not Dead, Gary Vaynerchuck Launches Talent Agency For Viners

Gary Vaynerchuck, video, vine, Instagram

New York entrepreneur, wine connoisseur, angel investor and now talent agent. Gary Vaynerchuck must believe that Instagram’s Thursday introduction of 15 second video clips won’t hurt Twitter’s popular Vine product.

Vine allows users to create 6 second videos that are looped for eternity and then share them across Twitter and Facebook.

It was long reported that Instagram was working on a video product to rival Vine. The Facebook-owned company unveiled that feature for Android and iOS users on Thursday. It became an instant success (no pun intended), especially with Instagram users who hadn’t started using Vine.

As for the Vine users, the verdict is still out. Several Vine and Instagram users posted “goodbye Vine” videos on their Instragram channels. Others quickly learned that the looping feature wasn’t available on Instagram and that sometimes 15 seconds is too much.

Vine gained almost instant popularity among popular bloggers, like the crew at Phillip DeFranco’s SourceFed and several sports stars and celebrities. 6 seconds gives viewers just enough of a glimpse into people’s lives that it’s fun. It’s quick enough that it doesn’t sidetrack viewers for very long.

Some people are getting very creative with Vine, often using the six second loop to make a continuous movie of sorts.

Vaynerchuck is no stranger to how successful video can be. He started a very successful YouTube show about wine in 2006. Now he thinks Vine is where it’s at.

“I’d seen this rodeo before,” Vaynerchuk tells Fast Company. “I started a YouTube show in 2006, so I lived that phenomenon. I lived what happened on Twitter for the first year and a half, before quote, unquote, real celebrities were on it. It’s just so obvious to me that this is going to happen.”

Vaynerchuck’s Vine talent agency is appropriately called Grape Story, and Virgin Mobile is his first client.

Though the talent will have a level of creative freedom while crafting contracted videos, they’ll incorporate specific Virgin Mobile messages. Vaynerchuck wouldn’t disclose how much stars will be paid per video, but according to Fast Company he did say that a star who made about 20 videos each year could make a living. That’s only two minutes of video. In a year.

Vaynerchuck isn’t the least bit worried about Instagram’s new video feature.

Ron Fairs, Virgin Mobile’s head of brand marketing, and Vaynerchuck’s first client for this venture added “I often question when a platform has its tried and true, which is photography, still photo, moves into another medium,” he says. “What is really the motivation behind it? . . . There could be a host of reasons other than this is what the consumer wants. Vine is something that was born into the model of [six]-seconds of video. And I think when you see other people trying to replicate that model, it’s not going to have the same organic lift and success as the person who came up with it first did.”


Move over Gary Vee, this New York startup says they’re the Wolverine of wine startups.

Gary Vaynerchuck image, vimeo

Nevada Startup SocialMatic Bringing Instagram To Life With Polaroid

Socialmatic,Instagram,Polaroid,Instagram camera,Nevada startup,las vegas startupI guess someone forgot to tell the founders of Las Vegas startup SocialMatic that bringing Instagram to life was done over 50 years ago with the first Polaroid. Of course the technology needs an update and a digital camera with an Instagram style face, some filters and Polaroid prints may just do the trick.

For now the company has entered into a binding agreement with C&A licensing an authorized Polaroid licensee and the same one that licenses the Polaroid One Step SX-70 image and likeness to Instagram.

Currently SocialMatic only has some really good mockups but they reportedly plan on bringing a product to market by 2014.

(photo: socialmatic)

“We are so proud to work together with C & A and Polaroid, giants of digital photography.” – said Mr. Antonio De Rosa, CEO of Socialmatic. “It ‘s been a long and difficult negotiation but we were strongly motivated to reach an agreement to create a small revolution in digital photography. This mix of Hardware and Software, together with our brand new photo social network will fill the gap between virtuality and reality.”

While the licensing deal has been struck with Polaroid it’s unclear whether they will need to do any licensing with Facebook, the owners of Instagram. The mockups look like one gigantic Instagram without the word Instagram on it.

One place where it may get a little hairy is the fact that Socialmatic plans to use the hardware to share pictures on their own photo based social network.

Would you buy an actual “Instagram Camera” tell us in comments below.

Learning from Instagram’s Faux Pas! Guest Post By Moe Glenner

Instagram,startups,startupOnce again, a technology-based company has exposed to the world their classic misunderstanding of change. In Instagram’s case, the failure was two-fold: a failure in planning and an even bigger failure to communicate. In late 2012, Instagram tried to generate revenue by sharing its users’ photos. (The new policy has since been retracted.) Unfortunately, the company’s new policy was not communicated properly and resulted in a predictable firestorm of bad publicity and the loss of a number of users. Instagram’s public change failure can provide important lessons for anyone or any organization pursuing change.

Lesson 1 – Planning for Risk can Make-or-Break the Change Initiative

While we would like to believe that Instagram planned for potential risk emanating from their new policy, it’s clear that if they did, they didn’t do it very well. Instagram’s risk planning failure is especially poignant given recent missteps by Facebook and Netflix. The media and users closely scrutinize any and all policy changes, especially those involving privacy. As users, we have become very educated and involved with changes to the technology platforms we use most. Similar to many technology applications, Instagram struggles with revenue generation. The attempted policy change was undoubtedly, an attempt to generate revenue. Somehow they didn’t plan for any backlash and their immediate retraction only served as direct proof of this lack of risk planning. All changes must plan for probable risks and have ancillary planning for other risks. Ignoring this rule, will most likely lead to change failure with its resulting costs.

For organizational changes, risk management is a serious endeavor and must be handled appropriately. While it is impossible to identify every possible risk, it is possible to identify risk categories. By this identification, response plans are put in place to immediately address a risk pending its categorization. The key to successful identification is communication.

Lesson 2 – Honest, Relevant and Timely Communication is Critical

Unfortunately for Instagram, the only communication was in full damage control mode. While appropriate, the communication was much too late to save the change and did little to mollify many users who subsequently defected. The time for communication is prior to, during and after the change has been implemented. This communication must be honest as to intentions and goals. It must be relevant to the specific change initiative being forwarded and it must be timely to the current stage of the initiative.

Communication must be honest, constant and consistent between the project sponsor, team leader, team members and those affected by the change. In the planning stage, a wide array of resources must be utilized to establish categories and then identify probable and potential risk. Honest communication allows for robust dialogue between team members and subject matter experts and the formation of a realistic risk plan. Once the change initiative is started, communication becomes especially critical. Lack of relevant and timely communication will lead to confusion, fear, resentment and even pushback to the otherwise appropriate change initiative. All of these negative results will severely and potentially fatally impact the likelihood of success. Thus, there is no such thing as over-communication but lack of communication is real and must be combated.

Above all, this is the time to be brutally honest and realistic with ourselves and our colleagues. We have a tendency to take on goals and internal change projects that are overly ambitious. Once the initiative is started and the going gets tough, we start compromising with ourselves and questioning the likelihood of success. Honest communication, internally and with our support team, allows for greater probability of realistic goal-setting and realistic achievement.

If Instagram’s goal was to generate revenue, their change initiative should have planned for a potential backlash and it should have been communicated in a manner that incorporated the risk strategy and allowed for meaningful dialogue during all stages of the change initiative. By learning from Instagram and others like it, we can effectuate successful and enduring change in the future.

Moe Glenner is the founder and president of PURELogistics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in organizational change. He earned his MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Villanova University. Glenner’s new book, Selfish Altruism: Managing & Executing Successful Change Initiatives ($13.95 | Amazon), explores best practices in organizational change. For more information,

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Teen Thinks “Facebook is for Old People” and “Snapchat is Getting Boring”

Facebook Twitter Instagram SnapchatThis post may be a little outside of our mission here at Nibletz to be “The Voice of Startups Everywhere Else” but after reading Josh Miller’s, founder of BranchTenth Grade Tech Trends the conversation seems appropriate.

Over the holidays I was lucky enough to head back to my hometown in Indiana to spend plenty of quality time with my younger siblings.

My siblings are your typical, Midwestern middle school and high schoolers. One Direction and Taylor Swift dominate their Pandora while interacting with friends is priority number one.

My two sisters are 13 and 16 respectively and my brother is an 18 year old senior. My youngest sister, 10, would cry if I didn’t mention her but her thoughts are not discussed. Although it should be noted her and her friends are already addicted to Instagram, using my parents’ phones to check it whenever she gets the chance.

I asked the older three a wide range of questions about their usage of social media and the overall sediment amongst theirs peers of the various networks.

What I heard was a bit of a shock.


The biggest surprise had to come when I asked my 13 year old sister if she used Facebook? “No, it’s for old people and it’s stupid! Nobody has it anymore.” (yes, I realize you’re supposed to be 13 to have a Facebook account but the majority of her friends we’re on it well before). While I laughed at her choice of words, my jaw almost hit the floor. Is it true? Has Facebook become so “uncool” that they had all already left?

I heard similar responses when I asked the other two. My brother had recently deleted his account but said that many of his friends hadn’t because, “their whole high school career is on there.” It seems my brother’s friends, who mostly adopted the service about four years ago, currently use it to look back at the good times they’ve had, not to post new content.


I got a very difference response when I asked them about Instagram. Each uses it everyday. It has completely replace Facebook as their default photo service.

This echoes Josh’s takeaway that Facebook was smart to buy Instagram.


But what about Twitter? Are the kids as hooked as you and me? It’s been pointed out before that Twitter is not a mainstream technology and Josh’s sister said, “I guess a few kids use it.”

I found a little different response. Both my brother and 16 year old sister, along with “most” of their friends, check it daily (but less than Instagram). However, It’s primary function for them is to broadcast things that make them look funny or cool and to find out what their friends are doing, not to find links and join interesting conversations.

The 16 year old said her friends are really into sharing quotes and other things to get them more retweets and followers. As for the youngest, “None of my friends use it.” The 16 year old was relatively new to the service while my brother had been on it for a few years. This lead me to believe Twitter is adopted more as they get older.


Now it was time to ask about Snapchat. Is it really a sexting app?

Probably not the most appropriate conversation to have with your little sisters (let alone get honest responses) but I drilled my brother on it. He said, “Yeah, I’ve heard some people use it for that but it’s definitely not its main purpose.”

All of them proclaimed that it was used to, “share funny pics with close friends that are too ugly or ridiculous for Instagram.” As for their frequency of usage, “basically everyday.”

The most insightful takeaway regarding Snapchat came from my 16 year old sister. “I’ve used it for a while now but it’s getting boring. I feel like I have to respond to my friends though.”

This makes me wonder, is Snapchat a fad? More of a viral service that goes out of vogue after receiving the 1000th picture of your friend pulling their cheeks apart in the mirror?


Teens are “so over” Facebook. Instagram is now the de facto photo sharing app. Twitter has their foot in the door. Snapchat isn’t just for sexting.

One final point is age seems to be the largest determinate in how teens use these networks and for the most part not geography or cliques

While these observations are clearly anecdotal and are by no means meant to be scientific (I can hear the comments on Hacker News now), it does provide another interesting look at how teens are currently using the world’s largest and fastest growing social networks.

Let me know what you think? Does this go along with what you’ve seen or is my family an anomaly?

Merry Christmas Instagram: Facebook’s Mobile Photo App Hit With Class Action Lawsuit

Instagram, Terms of service, Class Action lawsuit, startup,startup newsWhile millions of people across the world were preparing for Christmas and undoubtedly filling their Instagram feeds with pictures of carolers, cooking, food, presents and of course Santa Claus, A woman from San Diego, Lucy Funes, and the law firm of Finklestein & Krinsk launched a class action lawsuit against the photo giant.

Instagram quickly found themselves under fire from irate users. Even some of their more infamous users like Kim Kardashian said they would quit using the service. National Geographic had taken down their Instagram feed. All of this stemming from a change in Instagram’s Terms of Service (TOS). You know those long legaleeze pages that you just automatically agree to so that you can start using an app.

In the originally changed TOS Instagram had basically said that they could use your photos for whatever they want without compensation. They also said they may choose to advertise alongside your photos, they didn’t have to tell you and you wouldn’t make any money from it. Of course, whether or not you agree with these terms, no one forces you to use their product. All the while, if you do, you’re making an agreement to abide by their terms.

Nevertheless, Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom went ahead and back pedaled on the parts pertaining to copyright and using a users photos. The language about advertising remained in place.

Funes, most likely started the ball rolling for her class action lawsuit before Systrom apologized and changed the terms of service again, however the suit was filed.  The lawsuit says customers who don’t agree with Instagram’s terms can cancel their profile but forfeit the rights to photos they previously shared on the service.

“In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us,'” the lawsuit says.

Instagram catapulted to fame over the last few years. They were acquired by Facebook in early 2012 for what was believed to be a cash/stock deal worth $1 billion dollars at the time it was announced. Because of Facebook’s decline in stock valuation the deal is only worth about $715 million dollars now.

With the long holiday weekend it’s hard to tell if Funes will still push forward with the lawsuit since the new TOS language doesn’t lay claim to a users photos the way it previously did. We’ll hopefully find out more shortly.

The holidays are a big time for Instagram. They may see a little downtrend this year partially caused by users unsure of what’s happening with the Terms of Service and also because their sharing via Twitter went through a major overhaul earlier this month.


Source: Yahoo/Reuters

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Seattle Startup Zulily’s Valuation Reaches $1 Billion Dollars

Zulily,Seattle startup,startup,startups, billion dollar valuation,square,foursquare, instagramBack in September we brought you this interview with Zulily co-founder Darrell Cavens. Zulily is an online marketplace featuring daily deals for kids,mom’s and women. The company started out with just kids stuff and then expanded and started offering women’s clothing and accessories along with housewares.

It was announced on Thursday that the Seattle based startup has raised $85 million dollars from Andreessen Horowitz, one of the top valley venture capital firms that holds interests in companies like Instagram and Skype.

Jeff Jordan the former CEO of Open Table and partner at Andreessen Horowitz, characterized Zulily as an example of “e-commerce 2.0″ in a blog post.  He also said that Zulily was part of a renaissance in innovation among e-commerce players.

That wasn’t all that attracted Andreessen Horowitz to Zulily. The company’s founding team that’s already had tremendous success in the e-commerce arena in a niche market. Mark Vardon and Darrell Cavens were also the team behind Blue Nile which is the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and other fine jewelry. Jordan also cited the fact that Cavens was the head of both technology and marketing, ” a combination of functions I had never encountered before as an internet executive”, he wrote in the blog post.

Zulily has been very successful in carrying goods from lesser known designers who lacked distribution and then spun it into a business with over 10 million customers to date.

Last year Zulily raised $43 million dollars at a valuation of $750 million dollars. Although they didn’t report a valuation with today’s round, Business Insider quotes Fortune’s Dan Primack valuing the company at $1 billion dollars.  This puts Zulily in the same company as other startups like Square, FourSquare and Airbnb.


Check out Zulily here

Here’s our interview with Zulily

Source: BI

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Google Acquires German Company Nik Software For It’s SnapSeed Startup

While the Instagram staffers were taking their new offices at Facebook on Monday and Tuesday, Google announced that they have acquired German company Nik Software and with that, their photo sharing startup SnapSeed.  Instagram officially moved it’s modest staff of under 20 into Facebook’s headquarters Monday where they will be able to integrate and innovate closely with the existing Facebook team.

Nik Software, which has been around since 1995, catapulted in recent days with their picture sharing app SnapSeed.  Forbes recently called SnapSeed “Instagram and a lot more”. SnapSeed has more features and more ways to edit and play with photos in the mobile environment.

Nik Software has a few photo apps out there already but none as popular as SnapSeed. SnapSeed boasts 9 million users, which may seem like very little compared to the 100 million that Instagram says they have. However, SnapSeed’s 9 million users have paid $4.99 for the app, opposed to Instagram which is free.

Parmy Olson at Forbes Magazine suggests that SnapSeed may fit in better with Google+. Google+ has a huge community of semi pro and pro-mateur photographers who have taken a liking to Google+ and the fact that they allow you to save high resolution photos directly to the Google+ network.

Vic Gundotra, the Google executive who oversees Google+ said this about Nik Software “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone…”

Nik Software’s US office is in San Diego. The terms of the Google deal were not disclosed. It’s unclear whether or not Nik Software employees will immediately move to Mountain View or if they’re staying on at all. It’s also unclear as to whether SnapSeed will remain a stand along product or if it will be integrated into Google’s Picassa product.

In regards to the acquisition, Nik Software said  “We’ve always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone, and with Google’s support we hope to be able to help many millions more people create awesome pictures.”


Check out snapseed here

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Drexel Students Launch Philly Startup: Tagitbest

Nicholas Pirollo, a self proclaimed serial entrepreneur and an undergraduate student at Drexel University and his team have launched a new and exciting SEO product. Sure you’re saying what’s new and exciting about an SEO product? Well first off Tagitbest is about Twitter and Instagram, moving SEO to two of the hottest spaces on the planet right now.

Rather than search engine optimization Tagitbest is a “hashtag optimizing engine”. Tagitbest is actually solving a huge problem for people. Take the DNC for instance. We’re on the ground in Charlotte NC operating out of Startup Hub “Packard Place” at the PPL blogger/online journalist lounge. Now in a room full of 500 journalists no one could tell us the “official” hashtag for the DNC on Monday morning. Some are using #DNC2012, some are using #DNC12, Some are just using #DNC and then some are using #obama and #4moreyears.

If you head upstairs to the official Politico convention studios and hub they use their normal tag #Politico and then a different tag for each event that they’re hosting which has been a minimum of 4 events per day. All of these various tags can get a bit confusing, and that’s just for this one event.

Tagitbest will optimize your content, whether it be a picture, tweet or other piece of media and tell you what tag will be best to get your content in front of the most people.

Tagitbest comes in three flavors, web, iOS and Android and you can find their app in both the Google Play Store and the iTunes app store.

The interface is easy to use and as long as you know what a hash tag is you’re in business. Now if you’re a developer they do offer an API as well so that developers can embrace their new backend technology.


Check out Tagitbest here

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We Catch Up With Social Photo Sharing Startup StreamZoo At TechCrunch Disrupt VIDEO INTERVIEW

At TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 in New York City, our Managing Editor, Cameron Wright caught wind of Phonezoo’s latest startup project StreamZoo. StreamZoo is a multi platform photosharing application for Android and iPhone that has unique elements that make it one of the most popular photo sharing experiences outside of Instagram.

For starters StreamZoo allows users to follow users and streams that are created by hashtags. For example, co-founder Manish Vaidya talks in part three of this interview about how international users in Indonesia and Brazil make streams for their countries which draw more photos from other users in their country.

Wright also talks to Vaidya about the impact that Instagram has had on StreamZoo. Vaidya says that StreamZoo wasn’t really affected by the adoption of Instagram. Users were steadfast in their ways with their photosharing apps. What did happen however, was when Lightbox was acquihired by Facebook and subsequently shutdown StreamZoo found a lot of users migrated to their service. Those users used a stream #lightbox to find each other on StreamZoo.

StreamZoo also offers a badging element reminiscent of GoWalla which was also acquihired by Facebook. StreamZoo has the ability to create badges centered around locations, businesses, fun places to go and events. In fact Vaidya created a special badge unique to just Disrupt.

In Part I of the interview Wright talks with Vaidya about the progress that StreamZoo has made since they met the previous year.  They also talk about how the StreamZoo community influences changes in the 8 person Sunnyvale based team. StreamZoo had gone a little notification crazy but quickly reacted to the community adding a more effective way to manage notifications in messages within the UI.  Check out part I below:

In Part II of the interview Vaidya talks about the impact of Instagram, Facebook and Lightbox on the StreamZoo application. Check out part II after the break

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Facebook To Buy Opera, To Gain More Of A Footprint In Mobile


In a move that makes as much sense as buying a company for $1 billion only to release an application just like it weeks later, rumor has it Facebook is looking to buy Opera. Facebook, which is now having to go before the SEC over how it handled its IPO is rumored to want to buy the Browser. Facebook which listed Mobile as a major interest in it’s IPO filing is quickly pushing full steam ahead to build it’s Mobile footprint. Which the acquisitions of Lightbox, Instagram and others Facebook looks to be pushing forward to the often rumored and mythical Facebook Phone.

With getting closer and closer to 1 billion users, having a browser will no doubt send shock waves in what is already a fierce battle between Google with Chrome and Microsoft with Internet Explorer. With the addition of a browser, rumored Application store, buying/built a Camera interface with Instagram and it’s own newly released iOS application, Lightbox for gallery. The only thing left for a full on blitz is an operating system. However after seeing what Amazon did with the Kindle, could a Forked Android version be what Facebook is soon to be looking at building or would buying RIM for it’s Blackberry OS finally push FB into building it’s own phone.

Source: Pocket-lint

DC Startup: Stitchtagram; Design Your Own Instagram Pillows

Earlier this month we reported on Social Print Studio’s latest venture, Social Print Studio, a San Francisco company, lets you print your pics on just about anything printable. Today we’re reporting on a DC area startup that actually lets you print your pictures on pillows.

This story comes to us by way of our good friends at (check that site out). Stitchtagram was started by the brother and sister team, Doug and Rachel Pfeffer. Of course with Instagram’s rising popularity, their new Android app and their $1 billion dollar purchase by Facebook, everyone is looking to get a cut of the pie.  Stitchtagram is probably one of the most innovative ideas to come as a result of the photo sharing phenomenon.

Doug Pfeffer told that the idea came about because he and his sister love taking digital things and making them physical. Doug has a background in digital advertising. His sister, Rachel, has a background in selling jewelry online. They wanted to find something to do together. After tinkering with an Instagram slide show screen saver they decided on pillows. They began selling pillows in November of 2011 and the rest has been history.

More after the break
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Ben Horowitz Sets The Records Straight On Instagram And PicPlz With A Few Words From Mase

The lyrics to Mase’s 1998 hit “Lookin At Me” graced the page of Ben Horowitz, of Andreessen Horowitz, personal blog on Sunday afternoon. Horowitz needed to set the record straight. There’s a lot of haters out there (I know this personally) and people were asking questions. Ridiculous questions if you ask me, but still they were asking.

Andreessen Horowitz invested $250,000 in Kevin Systrom’s first company Burbn, and with the $1 billion dollar purchase of Instagram by Facebook the venture capital firm stands to make $78,000,000 thats 78 million dollars for those of you that aren’t good with numbers. That’s a return of 312 times their money. Yet people have been asking why Andreessen Horowitz didn’t make more.

Horowitz took to his blog to explain why they didn’t make more. But first he said:

Ordinarily, when someone criticizes me for only making 312 times my money, I let the logic of their statement speak for itself. However, in this case, the narrative that some critics put forth has the nasty side effect of casting two outstanding entrepreneurs—Kevin and Dalton Caldwell—in an unfair light and glosses over an important ethical issue that we faced. As a result, I will clarify what happened and why we didn’t make even more money.

More after the break
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