| Cult of Mac

Instagram makes ‘likes’ disappear in even more countries


heart shapes
Your fans will know you are liked. They just won't know how much.
Photo: Iouri Goussey/Wikimedia CC

Instagram’s hidden “likes” experiment is expanding to six other countries as the photo-sharing app continues to change features to make social media a more positive experience.

Instagram made the announcement Wednesday on its Twitter feed, though it has yet to disclose findings from a trial of select users in Canada. It will now hide “likes” tallies on select posts in Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.

The most popular filter on Instagram may surprise you


Instagram filters
X-Pro II is widely used for the drama it brings to a photo. But the most popular "filter" adds no drama at all.
Photo: Iconosquare

Normal is the single-most used filter on Instagram, which means exactly what you think: Normal is not really a filter.

Still, because it lines up alongside Instagram’s 40 native filters, it came out on top, according to a database of 790,000 Instagram users. This is still considered a small sample for a user base that just surpassed 1 billion active users.

Explore your interests through pictures with Instagram [50 Essential iOS Apps #20]


Cult of Mac Instagram profile
Instagram could soon offer original shows of its own.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Workflow appThere are tons of social networks to choose from. Some help you stay up-to-date with news, while others are focused on friends or family. Instagram is the social network for seeing the world and keeping up with your interests through images. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Instagram lets photos do the majority of the talking.

Instagram’s new feature is a ripoff of Snapchat Stories


Stories is already seeing more users than Snapchat.
Stories is already seeing more users than Snapchat.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram is rolling out a new feature that lets you post more privately and without the kind of permanence that can get you in trouble.

Sound familiar, Snapchat users?

On its blog Tuesday morning, the company introduced Instagram Stories, which lets you share multiple photos and videos in a single slideshow. It can be shared with select followers without showing up on your more public profile. It then disappears 24 hours later.

Facebook adds support for Live Photos — but there’s a catch


Your Facebook News Feed is about to liven up.
Photo: Facebook

A few months after Apple birthed Live Photos into existence with the release of the iPhone 6s, Facebook is catching on to the idea. The social network is building the feature right into its iOS app so iPhone 6s and 6s Plus owners can start uploading their animated photos and viewing others. But it’s not all good news, since there are two issues with Facebook’s implementation.

Photo app lets you send the party snaps when you’re sober


Flashgap lets you take pictures at the party, but then makes you wait a day before you can share them.
Flashgap lets you take pictures at the party, but then makes you wait a day before you can share them.
Photo: Flashgap

There is a growing category of apps that fall under the heading, Apps to save us from ourselves. There are messaging apps that delay the sending of text messages and apps and hardware that measure the amount of alcohol on your breath.

Flashgap enters this category – probably in time for some – to stop embarrassing party photos from making the rounds before you’ve had a chance to sober up and consider who will get to see your fun and foolishness.

Apple takes aim at Facebook with photo-sharing patent


Facebook's Moments app in action.
Photo: Facebook

An Apple patent application describes a way of identifying people in digital images using face-recognition technology and then making it easy to send copies of the image to everyone in it.

The concept is highly reminiscent of Facebook’s Moments app, which identifies people and places in images and then allows users to easily share with friends, without having to post the pictures to Facebook.

Microsoft’s incredible photo sharing app gains Apple TV support


Photo: Microsoft
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft’s Xin is already one of the best ways to share photos between devices, even if you’re on Android or iPhone, but it’s getting even better today for iPhone users with a new update that adds Apple TV support, plus a ton of other set top boxes.

Chomecast, Fire TV, Xbox One and web browsers are all getting support for the simple photo sharing app meaning you can now toss pictures to pretty much any smartphone or TV screen in the world.

See how Xim works with Apple TV in the video below: