Instagram hits 500 million users, sees 95 million posts per day

Today’s magic number is… 500 million! That’s how many people are now using Instagram, the photo-sharing/social media app. Half a billion users puts Instagram in rare company, surpassing Twitter’s user base and joining Facebook, WhatsApp and WeChat in the elite club. Instagram says users share more than 95 million photos and videos each day, and typically, users spend over 20 minutes a day on the app. Or perhaps more.

Along the way, Instagram has picked up advertisers as well, and is on track to pull in $1.5 billion this year. We were shocked when Facebook dropped a billion dollars to buy Instagram back in 2012, when it had 22 million users and just 13 employees. That’s looking pretty much like a genius move right about now.

____________

More from the world of image and video sharing: Vine, the six-second video app, has been out of the spotlight lately as other video sharing services like Periscope, Facebook instant video, Snapchat and others have gotten popular. But a new feature that allows 140-second videos may help bring it more love from users. Vine is owned by Twitter, thus the 140-second time limit, because… 140 characters…

Anyway, the new limit is rolling out today to “certain users” (aka: Vine celebrities) but if the new format proves popular, expect your Vine app to update to the new limit sooner than later. Meanwhile, the 6-second limit remains for most of us, but here’s a quick note: you’ll also be able to upload 140-second videos to Twitter, as well.

____________

Even more photo news, this time from Apple. Apple’s MacOS/OS X “Photos” app can recognize faces – but you probably knew that. But did you know it can also recognize expressions on those faces? Indeed it can, including greedy, disgust, neutral, scream, smiling, surprise, and suspicious. And, you can search through faces with those terms. It will also sort photos by 33 categories of memories, like “last week” or “area of interest” and so on.

Oh, and in case you are looking to find a certain “something” in a photo, it will also respond to searches for over 4,000 different object and scenes. Sadly, “winning lottery numbers” is not among the search terms. Maybe in the next version.

Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Gaming

Epic Games is offering $100 million to game developers with no catch

Epic Games launched a new grant program called Epic MegaGrants. The program will dish out $100 million in funds to developers working in the 3D graphics community, even if they don't use Unreal Engine.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook, flying taxis, and Tesla police car

On episode 54 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison discussed Facebook's plan to integrate Instagram, Boeing's experimental flying taxi, and more.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Super Bowl hangover, crypto disaster, and an electric plane

On episode 58 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle examined the tech news of the day, including the 2019 Super Bowl commercials, Chip Yates' incredible electric plane, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook Messenger change, GoNation, and more

From new Facebook Messenger features to 5Ge coming to select smartphones, we discussed the latest in tech news on this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chaz Tanase of GoNation and Dan Ferguson of Groove Jones to the show.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple versus news industry, Alexa Skills, and the OGarden

On Episode 65 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen broke down the biggest new stories from the world of tech, including Apple's feud with news publishers, the OGarden, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon HQ, Guy Kawasaki, and when to buy a streaming stick

On Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending headlines like the latest news surrounding Amazon's new HQ plans to the Mars rover Opportunity. We also sat down with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki to talk about his…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar visual effects, digital distractions, and more

On episode 72 of Digital Trends Live, we discussed news including the discovery that Google's Nest Secure has a hidden microphone, and welcomed author Brian Solis to the show to talk about his latest book.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: MWC 2019, ezCater, and an Apple streaming service

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we sat down with John Hall of Calendar.com and Briscoe Rodgers of EzCater. We were also joined by DT's Caleb Denison to discuss how Apple is looking to revolutionize TV streaming.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Twitter features, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and more

On episode 77 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen explored the biggest news stories from the world of tech, including the new Star Wars attraction, Twitter's experimental moderation tools, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Save the Internet Act, T. rexes in VR, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we were joined by Joel Comm of Bad Crypto and Jason Horton of Ghost Town. Later in the show, we joined Jeremy Kaplan on location at the American Museum of Natural History.