Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

How To Back Up Your Instagram Hyperlapse Videos

Instagram has just released Hyperlapse – a standalone app allowing you to create simple time-lapse videos – and with SocialSafe you can back these up to your own library, along with any comments and likes.

Hyperlapse is pretty much as simple as point, shoot, share, except you get to choose the speed at which the movie plays. Aside from the variable clip speed, the only other frill is the automated video stabilisation that should hopefully avert any motion sickness you might encounter from particularly shaky camera work. If you choose to share the video in Instagram, then you can add as filters as you would with any other Instagram video.

In a blog post announcing the new app, Instagram said: “We designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible.”

There’s no need to sign up either.  Once you’ve recorded your clip and chosen the speed (you can choose from 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, or 12x), the video is saved to your camera roll and you then have option to share it to Facebook or Instagram. So there’s no need to worry about building up your followers/friends on a new platform.

Want to see Hyperlapse in action?

20 Creative Hyperlapses From Instagram’s New App

What this also means is that if you publish your videos to Instagram, you can back up Hyperlapse videos with SocialSafe! Just as existing Instagram photos and videos can be downloaded to your SocialSafe library, any Hyperlapse videos you publish to Instagram will also be backed up – along with the comments and likes.

If you’re using our Instagram companion app ‘Likes’ (available in the app store – only for iOS at this moment), you’ll also be able to save to your iPhone any Hyperlapse videos from other users that you have liked on Instagram.

You can back up your own Instagram account, as well as your content from a number of other social networks, by downloading the SocialSafe desktop app.

Financial Conduct Authority Says Firms Should Keep Offline Records

New guidelines published by the Financial Conduct Authority have specified the importance of keeping a record of social media communications and interactions. Many industries have their own rules and regulations regarding the appropriate use of social media, and what systems companies and operators should have in place in terms of records keeping.

This new release from the FCA details some of the pitfalls of using social media to communicate with customers, and offers advisory remarks based on the different formats and norms of various social networks. On the subject of record keeping, we’d like to reproduce two of the points from the FCA document:

2.23 We remind firms of their obligations to have an adequate system in place to sign off digital media communications. This sign-off should be by a person of appropriate competence and seniority within the organisation.

2.24 Firms should also keep adequate records of any significant communications. As well as helping to protect consumers, these records enable the firm to deal effectively with any subsequent claims or complaints. Firms should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this: social media in particular may
refresh content from time to time, with the consequent deletion of older material.

The important point to pick up on here is that firms “should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this”. When you don’t hold the data yourself, you can never be 100% certain that nothing will happen to it, or that the ones holding the data won’t change the accessibility or ease of use.

Only by owning your own copy of the content you post  – and any subsequent interactions  – can you be fully in control of your data. SocialSafe is one such application that allows social media users to download, store, search and do more with their own copy of all the things they have said on their social networks.

Even if there are no legally binding regulations that apply to your business or industry, the FCA’s document is well worth taking a look at as it contains plenty of useful advice that can be heeded by any business, or indeed any individual. Click here to view the Financial Conduct Authority’s Guidance Consultation for Social Media and Customer Communications.

How To Challenge Your Friends To An Instagram Popularity Contest

We all appreciate it when our friends ‘like’ our content on social networks. Whether it’s a status update we’ve posted or a photo, it’s always nice to get that social seal of approval on something you’ve created. However, what can be just as much fun is getting more likes than your friends when you post things!

Instagram users have been known for their competitive nature when it comes to how many likes or comments their photos get once posted to the photo sharing network. Well, with SocialSafe you can take this battle with your friends to the next level, by not only seeing which of your own photos is the most popular, but also by seeing which is the most popular photo for each Instagram filter.

View your most popular content

Once you’ve backed up your Instagram account with SocialSafe, you can use the general Insights to see which of your photos has the most likes and comments, and with the specific Instagram Insights you can learn more about your use of individual filters and how popular they are with your followers:

most instagram likes

Most popular image for each Instagram filter

With SocialSafe it’s easy to see which photo has the most likes and comments, and once you know how many your most popular image has, you can challenge your friends to see how many interactions their most popular image has! You can even set your own date ranges, so you could see what your most popular photos were each month, and then compare that information with your friends to see who gained the most likes for each time period!

Of course they’ll need to be using SocialSafe in order to see which Instagram photo is the most popular, but the application is free to use, so simply download SocialSafe and compare the number of likes with your friends!

How To View Instagrams From Your Desktop

One feature within SocialSafe that you might not be aware of, is to do with photos. You can jump to the original image on the social network it was posted to with just one click.

When viewing any of the photos backed up in your SocialSafe library, you should be used to clicking on the thumbnail to see the larger view of the photo, as well as any comments, tags and likes. One thing you may not have noticed is the ‘View original’ button (highlighted in red) just beneath the large view of each photo:

view instagram photos on your pc or mac

Clicking on ‘View original’ will open up a browser window (or tab) and take you to the social network where the original image was posted. This short video shows you how this feature works with Instagram photos, but the same principle applies for any photos backed up in your SocialSafe library:

One way you might want to utilise this functionality is by combining it with the Flashback feature. When you’re shown your most popular photo from today’s date in previous years, you might want to remind your friends of it. By clicking on ‘View original’ you can jump straight to that image on whichever network it was posted on, and you could then comment on it again, or reshare it so that your friends or those who are tagged in it get a reminder of the great memories you’ve created together.

There are many other reasons why being able to jump back to the original photos online could be useful, and we’re sure you’ll find your own! This is just one of the ways we try to enhance your experience of using SocialSafe and enjoying your content, and we’ve got plenty more to come!

VIDEO GUIDE: Search Your Instagram Captions, Comments, Tags and #Hashtags

One of the cool things you can do when you download your Instagram photos to SocialSafe is to search through them by keyword or hashtag. When viewing your Instagrams within SocialSafe you can click on the Search box on the left hand side of the top bar and enter the word, name or phrase you’d like to find.

Here’s a very short video showing you how to Search Your Instagram Captions, Tags and #Hashtags:

Any photos containing your chosen search term will be displayed. Hovering over an image will show you how many comments, tags and/or likes it has, and clicking on the image will open it up in a larger view, where you will be able to see the caption, any comments, who has liked your photo and any tags associated with it.

You can also change the date range [not demonstrated in this video] to only show you images from any of the preset time periods (eg Last 7 Days, Last 30 Days, Last Year etc), or set your own custom date range.

For more tutorial videos, including how to print your Instagrams as PDFs, please refer to the SocialSafe YouTube Channel where the other aspects and functionality of the SocialSafe application are covered in greater detail.

Instagram Moved 20 Billion Photos To Facebook – Did Any Fall Through The Cracks?

Unbeknownst to the hundreds of millions of Instagram users, the infrastructure that holds all of their photographic creations has quietly been dismantled, relocated and rebuilt. Impressive stuff, when you consider the quantities of data involved – the service now stores in excess of 20 billion digital photos.

Since 2010 Instagram had been using Amazon’s cloud computing service, but the number of virtual machines required to run Instagram on Amazon was getting in “the thousands”. Historically, when Facebook had acquired other, smaller properties, the process involved shutting down the service in order to incorporate it into the world of Facebook. However, according to Facebook engineer George Cabrera, in the case of Instagram “the service couldn’t take any disruption”.

So in what Facebook called ‘Instagration’, the team in essence had to carry out multiple organ transplants while both patients were still conscious. Or as Mike Kreiger, founder of Instagram, explained:

“The users are still in the same car they were in at the beginning of the journey, but we’ve swapped out every single part without them noticing.”

The project was complicated, but the team behind the data transfer have successfully transitioned Instagram to now run from its own dedicated machines inside one of Facebook’s facilities. If you’re particularly interested in what the team had to do to make sure the whole thing went off without a hitch, then check out this article by WIRED’s Cade Metz:

How Facebook Moved 20 Billion Instagram Photos Without You Noticing

While everything seemed to go smoothly, whenever your content or data is held by a network or third-party that may encounter scaling issues or could indeed be absorbed into another company’s infrastructure, there will also be a concern that data could be lost along the way. While the ‘Instagration’ is a great example of data migration done well, it’s also a reminder that there’s always the potential that the actions of others could cost you what’s yours.

We believe that the individual should be the one who owns and controls their personal data, and that is why we built the SocialSafe application to allow you to download your Instagrams, Facebook Messages, Tweets, Followers and so on, all to your very own personal data store. There’s no reason to think that the networks themselves won’t look after the originals properly, but accidents can and do happen, so why take the risk?

Start building you own personal data library today, by downloading SocialSafe for free, and backing up your memories from the social networks you use.

As We Experience Another #FacebookDown Outage, Is Your Data Safe?

This morning we woke up to discover that we were in the middle of another Facebook outage, with anyone trying to access the site seeing the following error message for half an hour or so:

facebook down

I had actually logged on to Facebook before the outage hit, but it was when I came to sending a message – or indeed looking back through my old Facebook Messages – that I found that there was a problem:

facebook down

As you’d expect, the satire army were deployed on alternative networks with immediate effect, pointing out the monotony of certain themed posts that have been doing the rounds from seemingly everyone recently, or offering a tongue-in-cheek explanation as to how the problem was fixed:

Facebook employee Tom Logan said: “Somehow a dead bird had gotten wedged between the nuclear-powered servers, triggering a meltdown.

“Mark [Zuckerberg] knew doing the reboot was a one way journey. He refused a protective suit, as he was fully aware that it could not stop his organs liquefying.

“As the door slid shut behind him, he turned and gave a thumbs up through the hatch. It was the bravest thing I’ve ever seen.”

- The Daily Mash

Obviously this is not quite how things turned out at Facebook HQ, but things are thankfully now back to normal. Speaking to CNET, a Facebook spokesperson said:

“Earlier this morning, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100 per cent. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

While things are working again properly now, at the time the outage may have caused considerable inconvenience for many people. We often forget how much information is stored on the social networks we use on a daily basis, and many of us give little thought to what might happen if this information were to become unavailable – temporarily or otherwise.

With SocialSafe you can protect yourself against the risk of periodic separation from, or complete loss of, your social network information by downloading your own copy of your Facebook content to your own personal data store. To take control of your data now and to avoid the risk of someone else losing it, download SocialSafe for free!

Is Your Facebook Page Optimised For The New Layout Changes?

The new layout for Facebook Pages is gradually becoming mandatory for all, after first being made available to those who wanted to embrace the changes back in March. Over the course of the next few days page admins who hadn’t previously enabled the new layout will see that their Facebook Pages now more closely resemble the Timelines that they’re used to seeing on the Profiles of individual users.

With the posts now streamlined all the way down the right hand side of the page in a Timeline, this frees up the left hand side of the page for sections containing the other media and content types. Admins are also able to organise these sections, giving greater control over what is seen first by visitors the to a page.

The cover photo area has been tidied up to include simple text buttons in place of the clunkier ‘tabs’ that used to feature between the cover photo and the main content of a page:

new facebook pages layout

The People and About sections are anchored at the top of the left hand column, (the right hand column being the Timeline), which is just beneath the cover photo and quick navigation buttons, but everything else can be reordered:

new facebook page layout

So for example if you have a very visual product you could position the photos section right at the top, or if your page had previously enjoyed lots of engagement via one particular aspect, you can make sure that your audience can continue to find it easily by positioning it close to the top.

Page admins might also want to think about what they have as their page’s last section, as this will remain visible when someone scrolls further down your timeline, so if you can put something memorable or compelling there, you might find that it is the section that gets the most viewing time.

Have you have the new Facebook Page layout for a while, or are you just getting it now? What are your thoughts? Let us know by leaving a comment below, or if you have any tips for ordering sections please feel free to share them here.

Changes To Facebook Privacy Settings – Are Your Posts Public?

Today saw a long-awaited change to the Facebook default privacy settings. For a long time users’ status updates were set to ‘Public’ visibility by default, with users having to adjust their privacy settings to restrict them to only their friends or to custom groups going forward.

However, some five years after the Facebook default sharing setting for new users was set to Public, the social network has finally reacted to user sentiment by changing this. Anyone joining Facebook from now on will have their posts automatically set to ‘Friends’. New users will also see a reminder when they make their first post that they can change the default privacy settings.

For all current users, it might be worth double-checking the visibility of your current settings just to make sure you’re not unintentionally sharing your posts with a wider audience than intended. To do this, simply click in the text box where you’d go to write a status, and then click on the drop-down to view/edit the settings:

facebook privacy settings

Here at SocialSafe we believe that sharing is a wonderful thing, but we also recognise that everyone has a right to privacy. We do our best to keep you up to date with any changes to the privacy settings of the major social networks that our backup application supports, but if you have any hot tips or discover any privacy flaws on these social networks that might result in people over-sharing, then please feel free to let us know and we’ll help spread the word.

Facebook Outages – Can You Access Your Content In An Emergency?

At the end of last week some Facebook users were unable to log in to the social network, instead encountering the following error message:

facebook down

It didn’t appear to be a complete outage, as the issue only affected some users. However, as Facebook is increasingly used as an online ID to log in to more and more sites and services, any Facebook downtime can have further reaching effects than simply not allowing you to access the social network itself:

According to a spokesperson, the outage is now fixed, and a message on Facebook’s Platform Status page confirms that the sitewide issues were resolved in the early hours of Saturday morning.

While a minor outage only affecting some users, it does go to show that even without the malevolent interference of hackers, there is always a risk that you could be separated from your data if you entrust all of it to someone else to look after for you.

It’s easy to forget how much important information can be held on social networks – just think about all of the addresses, timings and other details that we take for granted as being available 24/7. The only way to be sure that you’re doing all you can to ensure you are able to search for something said on or contained on your social networks is to keep your own copy of your data.

At SocialSafe we believe that you should be the single biggest owner of your data, so if you want to download your Facebook Messages, back up your tweets, download your tagged photos and more, start your very own SocialSafe library now for free.