Posted by nvarsos
Seems like the Facebook train just keeps on rolling, with todays news that the Lightbox team will be joining the social network. For Lightbox users, the end is sadly nigh as the service will be closing down completely from June 15. Existing users can continue to use the service until then, but no more new signups will be accepted.
This isn’t an acquisition, not like the $1 billion buyout submitted for Instagram. As such, none of the user data stored by Lightbox will become the property of Facebook. The staff is the only part transitioning, and as such closing the doors for good. Until June 15, all your photos can be exported, and the Android application has already been removed from Google Play. Additionally, parts of the code will be open-sourced in the coming weeks.
via [androidcentral.com, blog.lightbox.com]
- Lightbox is joining Facebook! (lightbox.com)
- Facebook Snaps Up Team From Mobile Firm Lightbox (mashable.com)
- Facebook gets even more aggressive with photo sharing, acquires the Lighbox team (thenextweb.com)
- Instagram rival Lightbox also purchased by Facebook (androidcommunity.com)
Posted by nvarsos
I’ll come right out and say it: I’m not a big fan of Instagram. And no, it’s not because iOS users have had their underpants in a wad over the Android release, but because for me, it really doesn’t live up to the hype. Here’s why, and more importantly, here are some just-as-good alternatives for Android users (and some for iOS users too!) who want to take and share photos with or without those filters that make a 5-megapixel cell phone camera look like a 70s Polaroid.
Why I Have No Love for Instagram
Here’s the thing—putting aside the fact that some very vocal iOS users are very upset that their precious app has descended to the likes of Android users (let’s be clear, some iOS users, not all – most people understand that the device you use, OS you prefer, or browser you surf with is not who you are) and the social commentary the whole depressing fiasco gives us, the truth is that while Instagram has great hype, slick sex appeal, and a bolted-on social aspect, it doesn’t do anything that a half-dozen other apps for iOS and Android don’t do. In fact, some of those Android apps do it just as well or better.
Instagram’s real appeal is the closed nature of its product—the fact that it’s walled off by default, with no open browsing of user photos by just anyone, and before its Android release, built a brand off of being iPhone only, private, and that thing that a select few used to take photos on their phone and then, for fear that no one would see it, pushed it over to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, or anywhere else that people actually hang out. Aside from design and marketing, there’s little that makes the app special to this writer. (Your view may differ, and if so, that’s cool. You should use Instagram!)
That said, it’s good at what it does, the product is sound, it’s the aura around it that’s misplaced. That and the fact that it’s been dangled in front of Android users for far too long only to culminate in an arguably unfinished version (no tilt-shift? really?) when it was teased as “in some ways, it’s better than our iOS app,” according to one of the app’s founders. Combine the aura that and the fact that so many iOS users don’t want you playing in their sandbox anyway and it’s worth looking at some alternatives.