Instagram – Numbers & IGExcorcist

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Anything new in social media catches on like wildfire in Kuwait, and I do like that Kuwait is always ahead of the curve when it comes to social media. Since April of last year Instagram has gained huge traction in Kuwait, unlike any other country in the Middle East. It’s a different creature from the people who are used to using Twitter, Facebook, or Blogs, Kuwait moves from one thing to the next. First it was Blogs, then Facebook, then Twitter and now Instagram.

People love sharing pictures, and that has become normal, you get a glimpse into other people’s lives. But unlike most countries people are taking advantage of it on a commercial level, so many people using it for their stores and items, it’s honestly genius, the fastest way to get people to see their products. And a lot of companies advertise with Instagramers with a ridiculous amount of followers.

For one picture the price ranges from 150 KWD to 450 KWD on Instagram depending on who you advertise with and in reality its just as expensive as newspaper ad but you get to more people and faster, and some companies see the benefit of this.

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Now the crazy part is how easily you can buy followers & likes on instagram. So many companies are doing that to inflate their numbers its ridiculous. Some people have a strategy to gain followers and it works for them but I for one don’t believe in buying followers, you get people based on your interactions and photos, but going for numbers is a never the best strategy. Below is one companie’s number for likes and followers on Instagram.

ProPromote Pricing:

  • $ 2.99 One-time 100 guaranteed followers
  • $ 6.99 One-time 500 guaranteed followers
  • $ 39.99 One-time 5,000 guaranteed followers
  • $ 29.99 One-time 2,500 guaranteed followers
  • $ 69.99 One-time 10,000 guaranteed followers
  • $ 2.99 One-time 100 guaranteed likes
  • $ 6.99 One-time 500 guaranteed likes
  • $ 39.99 One-time 5,000 guaranteed likes
  • $ 29.99 One-time 2,500 guaranteed likes
  • $ 69.99 One-time 10,000 guaranteed likes

Link: Promote

One day I woke up and looked at Instagram and it gave me a weird number, I assumed it was acting up, but I was half asleep and the number was real. I jumped from 2000 followers to 7000+ followers, I thought what the hell could have happened, I checked and saw some of my pictures had over 800 likes which has never happened.

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I checked the followers some seemed normal with their own pictures but then more and more turned out to be bots. I don’t know how the hell the could have happened, after calling a few friends I found out who did it and was playing a practical joke on me and he enjoyed it. I spent over 4 hours and barely removed 300 followers, its a crazy process to go through. He bought the 5000 follower package from Promote and it only took a few minutes for it to happen. You can do it to anyone with an open account, and thats what he did to me and it drove me nuts trying to remove followers.

IGExcorcist is a website that helps remove bots from your accounts. It checks certain criteria and helps your account unfollow these people, but it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to remove each person. Once you activate IGExcorcist it doesn’t stop except after all the criteria is met, and in my case it took over 6 days to get rid of the bot followers, I was thankful that was done and this program was out there, I might have spent a month trying to unfollow all those bots.

Link: IGExcorcist

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Instagram Video?!?

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Yes or No?

What do you think?

When Flickr tried introducing video a long while back, there was a huge whiplash and people hated, but now this seems to be completely different, people are reacting favorably to the video in instagram. Its taking a different form, people are testing it out and even I found it to be interesting.

Instagram has always managed to keep a level of imagination behind it’s picture, you always wonder how they took the picture, and some of them are amazing. I know sometimes I work at it to get the right picture, and some people uploading their pics from their DSLR camera for these amazing shots. But now the dynamic of instagram will be totally changed. Instagram is going after Vine & Keeker, and it will beat them with a very big stick.

But Instagram has laid some rules down for the videos, you have to hold down the button to record. It turns it into stopmotion photography, thats what a few people are doing, and some people are doing crappy videos, 15 seconds is the limit, and you don’t know how it will turn out since you really have to squeeze in.

Photographs on Instagram have always had a bit of heft or importance to them, you can really see some accounts with amazing photographs. Instagram has always been clutter free and amazing pictures, not noisy like Twitter and other social media, Instagram has been the clean place, but with video introduced its like people are stumbling with the video from a few of the ones I have seen and some are amazing with the use of stop-motion.

Then there is the other thing that is lost, the slow scroll through instagram, the one you do at work, or with the family or while sitting patiently waiting to do another activity and it takes up the right amount of time. Now suddenly videos come on and you have to jump to mute your phone, already happened to me a few times over the weekend. Lets see how Instagram will change with the introduction of video, you can’t load it up from a DSLR like some do for pics, but now lets see how things will change.

Instagram Numbers

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I honestly love instagram, I enjoy the interaction and people’s reactions to pictures and seeing what others may snap pictures of. There is always something to entertain someone on instagram, so much to see and I think everyone is on it at this stage. In Kuwait people migrate from one thing to another and the latest is instagram, with business setting up through instagram and spreading by it and honestly it works. Everyone is pointing theirs phones and taking pics all the time, but the states I didn’t see people as obssessed with it as we are. I tend to like taking good pictures and seeing what others may take, but the one thing that I see that drives me nuts is people following lots of people to get followed and then unfollowing, and sometimes it gets me wondering why some people would unfollow, I honestly know that I shouldn’t care but I’m always curious about it and I would be lying if I didn’t say it didn’t bother me, but it does just a little bit. I use statigram to follow up on the numbers and growth and so I see specifically who unfollowed and there are always surprises.

Instagram / Twitter / Blogs / Facebook Addiction

Kuwait is probably one of the most active country on Social Media out of the whole Arab Region, we are always online posting the new thing or our experiences or whatever pops into our mind. I think Kuwait is one of the main countries that capitalizes on Social Media in terms of businesses. There are some business that sell only through Facebook, and they communicated through twitter as well, and now its Instagram. Its like watching the Migration pattern of a herd, really everyone is online. You know you can tell when Instagram for Android came along every body just migrated to Instagram, you iPhone people had it a while back but only when the Android version came along that everyone started using it so much.

First it was Facebook then Twitter came along, and now after Instagram is the big hit Twitter feels like an empty Wasteland. But since the 24 hour disappearing act that Instagram pulled it seems people were going through withdrawal, phones were being thrown at walls, they had to communicate like normal people again which scared them, some people were even back on Twitter for a bit, they felt cut off, no pictures to help them know what is going on, that burger that was so good, or what your friend is doing just that minute. But still I can’t blame people its a lot of fun, for a while Twitter felt like a huge hall with only a few people in it, you can hear the echo when you shout, people reply to you these days. I for one do enjoy Twitter and Instagram, still not on Facebook and don’t I will be getting on there, I dislike Zuckerberg too much, don’t know why but I just don’t trust him.

It’s really funny seeing people wait, these days you can see there fingers sliding upwards across their screen and I know 1000% that they are looking at Instagram and liking one picture after another. At the end of the day most of this social media is helping things in Kuwait and other areas as well, people finding things out quicker, information passed along more concisely but don’t lose touch of the normal world, pick up the phone and call, go see someone, it isn’t always about being online, disconnecting every once in a while is good.

Zain Social Media Day

Thanks to @ZainKuwait for setting up a very fun event, I haven’t been to much of any events because of timing and work, but because a lot of people I knew were going and people called up (Dude from 7ajiDude) I decided that I would pass by for a bit before having to take off. They really tied everyone together on this one, and they held it at a very nice venue, @ Al Hamra on the 55th floor, The Sky Lobby, so you get to meet friends and new people with a beautiful view. Every body from every type of social media was there from Bloggers, Tweeters, YouTubers, and Instagrammers, pretty much anyone and everyone that had to do with Social Media.

The amount of people I saw and wanted to catch up with was insane, I met up with the Android crew and we held up the back corner by Pick Yo while the events started. Literally I think everyone was there, I kept flying between people saying hello and catching up. There was a lot of Apple and Android banter going on but it was relatively friendly, lol. They were giving away prizes to people who were answering questions right and one of them ones who did was Jacqui, she original gadget queen.

The best part for me was catching up with a lot of people I have seen in a while all in one time, but it was a bit too short a time to catch up with everyone. The event setting was great, and I loved the seating, they really did a great job of setting the whole thing up. The catering was nothing short of fantastic, all by local businesses and very well done, there were literally many to list a few: Gelato Italiano, Rice Pudding Factory, Neqsa, Kiwi Bakery, Pick-Yo Frozen Yoghurt, The Pantry, Gathering, Al Foz Kitchen, Chocolateness, and Vinox Chocolatier. Those are just the few that I could remember and I was only there for an hour.

(Pictures Were Supplied By The Great Qortuba)


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Twitter Friends On A Map

Getting all friends on map, I think its based on what location you list in your twitter profile, just the people you follow, looks kind of cool but some of them are way off in islands or areas of the world they are probably not there but still pretty cool application. You can see your friends by clicking the link to the map below and connecting your Twitter account to it so it can see the people who you are following, that’s how they decide is your friend and apply it to the map, pretty nifty to see.

Link: TwitterFriendMap

Companies & Social Media In Kuwait

Over the last year and half a lot of companies and specifically telecom companies have gotten heavily into all types of social media. They are active on blogs, in events, facebook, and twitter and other platforms that they can expand on. I’m honestly proud that these companies see the value of social media in Kuwait and its strength, we are ahead in the region on this aspect and we keep moving forward which is a good thing.

It feels like more companies are taking social responsibility and they are giving people more direct access to them and it helps resolve issues. Also it does expose them to more criticism which most companies don’t like, and there are those who don’t care at all. Now a lot of companies, especially the Telecom companies have been sponsoring blogs which is a good step, it supports the community and it gives them an air of legitimacy. But then also brought another creature to evolve which are the Blogs For Cash movement, they make blogs just to sell off ad space and make money, and usually they don’t last too long or their content is crap but still they keep popping up.

Now Telcos are getting more and more involved with lots of events, I keep seeing people post about them and I do get invited but 99% of the time I don’t have time to go and other 1% I would rather do other things. They are handing out iPhones like they are candy and pretty much the next hot item, which is great and good for people to review and experience their service. But recently a lot of these gifts and sponsorship come with strings, string that I for one would never accept. At this point they tell you can talk about their competitor, you can’t attend their events, and you can’t really bad mouth their products. When the money comes with strings such as those I wouldn’t want it no matter how much they are offering. Whats funny is that recently I have noticed blogs which are Team Zain, or Team Wataniya, or Team Viva some keep trying to buy out the other. In reality it isn’t a bad thing but when they interfere with the content to this degree its unacceptable and its a very bad path they are choosing, some still don’t apply it but some companies are. At the end it is the choice of the blog to make the decision of which sponsor they would like on board.

Google Social Networking

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Google will focus a lot on groups of friends and how you share with them, and try to differentiate themselves from Facebook in this and other ways.

Google doesn’t appear to want to have a big launch announcement around the product, now or down the road. They keep releasing (or dealing with leaks) new social features in drips and drabs: toolbar stuff, profile stuff, video stuff.

Facebook and Google have not been playing nice over the last two years, and sometime in the near future Google will be rolling out their Social Networking platform. What they are rolling out is supposed to challenge Facebook but at the same time work with their tools. Facebook & Google have been cutting off information & integration from each other over the past 18 months. I for one do not have a facebook account but there is no denying the affect of Facebook and how involved people are with its services, many businesses in Kuwait have become successful because of their pro-activeness on facebook. This does include how it has become an extremely successful tool during political unrest such as it was in Iran and Egypt. Now Google is planning to roll their service out without too much of a fuss, and I’m one looking forward to trying it out. To be fair I really don’t like Facebook and their policies, privacy is out the window, and they have a lot of shady third party software companies taking private information and selling or using it in an unauthorized way. When it comes to Google a lot of people have issues with it but I for one do trust Google since my email and other information is already with Google. I just hope they have really thought it out and it won’t be a flop like Google Wave, or have issues like Google Buzz. I hope it has all the integration options of Google but everything should be turned off initially so people can choose what they want to integrate.