Instagram .. The Shock.. Thinking About Leaving?

This was a short celebration for us Android users, honestly I was very happy to get Instagram and share a lot of things with friends and family, a real social photo sharing platform done right. But this news about Facebook buying out Instagram for $1 Billion is nothing short of shocking. All the evil works of Facebook and Zuckerberg entered my head, I feel like I’m swimming in tainted water, that Facebook can finally get its hands on me. If anytime big changes come along, some of us aren’t going to be OK with them. Now that Instagram is soon to be under Facebook’s control, many are expecting privacy woes and leaving the service for greener pastures.

Leaving Instagram is not something I would like to do at this juncture but I would like to have the option of taking all my photos with me if need be, in Android everything is Synced to My Google Plus account but just in case you feel like leaving this probably the simplest way to go about it.

This is easy. Fire up your computer, and head to Instaport. It’s a website whose sole purpose is to suck your pictures out of Instagram, and drop them into another account or save them to your computer hard drive. Follow the instructions, and you’ll end up with all your Instagram pics bundled neatly wherever you want to keep them. Fair warning — they are under some “heavy traffic” right now, so you may have to wait a bit. I got it to work on the third try, but your mileage may vary.

Then head over to Instagram to have your account deleted, keep in mind that you won’t lose your account when you do this, your Username is still yours so nobody can take it.

Link: Instagram Account Deletion

Social Networking Overdose

Over the past decade I think people have somewhat gone crazy with Social Networking! I remember when Hi5 and MySpace were all that people talked about in Kuwait and thats even before the marketing companies in the middle east caught on, and MySpace is somewhat dead, and I don’t know what people used Hi5 for in the first place.

To tell the truth there is a lot of good that everyone is able to get out of some these social networking services, in Kuwait Facebook is a fantastic tool for supporting small businesses or big businesses to get in contact directly with their customers to get their feedback, and Twitter is an excellent for fast and short communication or throwing out ideas and getting instant reactions.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Tumbler
  • FourSquare
  • Get Glue
  • LinkedIN

Luckily I’m not on very many social networking sites and only recently got on Twitter a few months back and I’m happy I did, but at the same time I got on board with FourSquare and GetGlue and that was insanity for me. I would check into so many different locations on FourSquare and so many different shows on Get Glue, it was pure insanity, I wanted to keep my numbers up, I wanted to be come Mayor, I was obssessed! I would keep checking in with whatever I was doing constantly, it was like I was on crack or something, seriously addicted. At one point it was just taking too much time and too many times doing it, I even figured out small loopholes in it and how to trick it, but luckily by summer I gave up on the useless ones, they were pointless. There is a point to some of these social networking sites, you get tips from FourSquare when traveling and see what are some interesting shows with Get Glue but I just stopped them because it was taking too much time. I’m not getting on Facebook or LinkedIN anytime soon, probably because I see how much time people spend on them and I barely have enough time as it is.

Google Social Networking

facebook_vs_google

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.

Google Buzz

The simple way to explain Google Buzz is that its a feed of what your doing online, initially its all Google Related sites which is an automatic feature. Whats surprising is how Google launched this so silently with no buzz, contrary to its name. But it can be really interesting connecting all people on your list and friends list together, and following the activity of more people. Its getting a bit jumbled with Google Reader as its automatically following more people, and sometimes keeps adding them back in so Buzz is being integrated across all Google Platforms.

To Modify what your sharing go to the Buzz Page under your inbox in Gmail, right there click on view connected site to change which sites will show on your Google Buzz as well as how they are shared. You can even add individual websites so the website activity shows up on your Google Buzz. What you do want to do is stop other people who don’t know the people on your list from viewing them, its as if you are showing the world your contacts, that is a bad automated feature from Google. These steps are provided by Lifehacker but here is the simple breakdown:

Go to your Google Profile: Then click the link labeled “Edit Profile” and on that page just follow the steps below.

UnCheck: “Display the list of people I’m following and people following me

What I Dont like:

  • Automatically shows who is following you and who you are following
  • Your Google Chat conversations are put up for all to see as well as other data automatically
  • It isn’t intuitive in how to unshare certain features
  • Slightly intrudes in your privacy if you don’t know how to control it

What I like:

  • It sort of pools all your activity into one window for friends to see, from Google Reader, Flickr, Twitter, Individual Websites
  • Friends can comment on your activity and your details are kept within the Buzz page
  • For once Google introduced a new item which integrates across all their platform
  • You can really customize the details that are presented but all these details aren’t on one page

You can click on individual people to remove them from following you or you following them, and in the grey notes just under that button it will say they won’t know that you did it. Or you can it turn off Buzz completely, its all about how comfortable you are sharing this kind of information. Google is pushing into the realm of Facebook and other types of social networking but not just communication, its based on your content and what your doing, people can see and comment as well as you can comment on what there doing.

Overall I like it because its connecting friends on a different level and I’m enjoying it.

Facebook – The Abuses

Facebook

I have always been a bit paranoid to a degree to lay out all my information on any social networking websites, and now this is all coming true since they changed the user agreement contracts, and nobody really did anything about it to stop them. The worst part is that your profile can never really be deleted, the information is always there, and as stated below all your comments are stored in a Database that they can query later and take a nice look. Look at the ridiculousness of the employees by reading the points below, its insane how much information they have stored up and people don’t realize. Facebook is even blocking those companies that are trying to provide a service in which you can delete your profile and everything associated with it, so they want to keep your info. Facebook is morphing into this scary blog with world domination in mind, at one point they will cripple all the world’s governments.

  • As of a few months ago, Facebook records and archives information on whose profile you view. (Apparently this was already publicly known.)
  • Facebook has 200-220 million active users, and more than 300 million total accounts, including disabled accounts and potential fakes.
  • At one point, Facebook staff widely used a “master password” that unlocked access to anyone’s account. Use of this password has been “deprecated,” i.e. discouraged, implying the password might still exist and work. What was the password? “With upper and lower case, symbols, numbers, all of the above, it spelled out ‘Chuck Norris,’ more or less. It was pretty fantastic.”
  • The Facebook employee is aware of at least two coworkers being fired for abusing their access to profiles; the employee herself also inappropriately access profiles.
  • Facebook employees can “just query the database” to find your Facebook messages.

Link: Gawker