Tech in Asia — Since Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion, there is no question that photo apps are a very hot place to be for startups. I think they’re still ripe for disruption, Instagram has only about 400 million monthly active users. There are still hundreds of millions of untapped smartphone users out there who could easily be swiped away from Instagram. Here’s a look at the best out of Asia.
Times of India — KOLKATA: Once upon a time it was a common sarcastic refrain: Oh, you’re a photographer? Who’s your agent, Instagram? All that has changed now and the social media tool is virtually on every smartphone, with even professional growing a fondness for its special filters. So it certainly is a big deal when Instagram’s first photo exhibition in India will be held in Kolkata starting Thursday.
Times of India — WASHINGTON: China’s internet czar, Lu Wei, has announced that the country has no plans to unblock foreign websites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram along with some news sites. According to CNN, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been courting China quite diligently but there is little sign that his efforts are paying off.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Wonder what’s the profile of average Instagram users in India? It’s mostly young, mobile-first users with high spending power, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by Instagram. The study titled ‘Indians on Instagram’ has been released by the company at its first-ever conference in India. The report also claims that Instagram’s monthly actives in India have more than doubled over the past year (as of September 2015). Instagram users in India.
MSI-ASIA — A week after mobile Internet users in North Korea began seeing messages telling them the site was blocked, access has been restored, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. The block was an unusual one for the country, but then nothing about the Internet is normal in North Korea.
MSI ASIA — Days after photos leaked of a fire at one of North Korea’s biggest and best-known hotels, the country has begun restricting access to Instagram. On Monday, attempts to connect to Instagram’s website via PC or smartphone were met with a message saying the site was on an Internet block list, according to an Associated Press reporter in Pyongyang.
Users started reporting they were able to access Instagram over the weekend. Tech in Asia staff stationed on the mainland confirmed the app is no longer blocked, though sometimes images won’t load or only partially load. Whether or not it works might depend on your internet service provider and location.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian head of state to wake up to the possibilities of social media in politics, made his Instagram debut yesterday. He posted a photograph of the ASEAN Summit venue in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and in less than 24 hours found 94,621 (and counting) followers. Currently, Modi is India’s most-followed politician on Twitter with 7.82 million followers. It’s hard to believe that in January 2009 when he entered Twitter, it had gone almost unnoticed.
China’s internet is littered with companies that thrive in part thanks to the country’s strict censorship. Baidu, Weibo, and Youku are now web giants due to blocks put in place on Google, Twitter, and Youtube. The popular western photo sharing social network Instagram has eluded the Great Firewall until recently, operating freely and successfully in the Middle Kingdom. But the site and app became inaccessible from China starting near the end of September this year, likely due to the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that earned the ire of Beijing officials.
We’re seeing reports from users on Twitter that Instagram has been blocked in mainland China. It’s likely due to the protests happening in Hong Kong. Citizens in Hong Kong are protesting the government in Beijing to allow them to practice “full democracy.” If Instagram is blocked in China as the Twitter reports indicate, it’s likely to keep images of the protest, which include police firing tear gas at demonstrators, from spreading.
Instagram has launched an app designed after Snapchat. The online mobile photo and video sharing and social networking service released an app called Bolt on Tuesday. It’s Instagram’s first venture into speedy and ephemeral one-to-one video and photo-messaging. The company launched Bolt on Android and iOS in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa. Technology website TechCrunch said Instagram is testing the app in these English-speaking and Instagram-fluent countries before rolling it out in the United States.
We love social media in Thailand. There are 24 million users on Facebook. The country’s Twitter activity increased last year. On Instagram, Thailand hosts one the most Instagramed place in the world. Thailand now has 1.5 million Instagram users, according to data from Zocial Inc. The company behind ZocialRank, which monitors social media trends in the country, has came up with an infographic (embedded below) showing more details about Instagram’s users in Thailand.