Instagram is at it again with launch of Hyperlapse App

screen568x568Just when we thought Instagram’s A-game couldn’t be any better, they hit us with its newest app, Hyperlapse.

Hyperlapse allows for capturing high-quality time lapse videos. The additional plus? You can even create these videos while in motion thanks to a stabilization feature within the application. Even more amazing is the quick usability of the program. Record your video, select the speed at which you want to showcase your video, then save and share. No filters, no adjustments – a plain and simple, yet beautifully complex app.

Curious to see how “high-quality” your videos can become? Check out their Vimeo demo:

This is Instagram’s second application; a follow-up to last month’s release of Bolt.

Download Hyperlapse, and give it a try. Tweet your first Hyperlapse videos to @VanWestMedia or tag us using #VWMblog.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

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Senate Proposal: Online Sales Tax Bill

the-white-houseIn July 2014, several Senators introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate which combines the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) and the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). What are these two acts? To put it simply, the ITFA bans tax on Internet access, and the MFA leaves it up to individual states to tax remote sales, including online purchases.

If the Senate chooses to pass the combination of these two acts (making it The Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act), ITFA would no longer be permanent. Instead, its grandfather clause would be extended for 10 years, which allows states like Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin to keep pre-existing Internet access taxes.

Do you think the U.S. Senate has a good chance of passing the act in the House? How might this impact your life? Tweet us your answers at @VanWestMedia.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.

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Emergency 911 Text Service: Coming to a City near You

file0001449879863With cellular devices now dominating communication in the U.S., it only makes sense that our emergency response teams upgrade to receiving 911 dispatches via mobile phone text messages.

According to a recent article from Mashable, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a ruling that requires all mobile service providers to now offer their customers a “text-to-911” option. The FCC believes the new requirement will help save lives in situations where persons requiring emergency assistance may be unable to speak or hear, whether it be due to a disability or an endangerment in-process.

The FCC reiterates that text-to-911 should not replace calling 911 and should only serve to complement its existing emergency service line.

In a statement from the FCC, “More than one hundred 911 call centers serving portions of 16 states and two entire states (Vermont and Maine) are now accepting emergency texts, and there are already reports of lives saved.”

What we don’t know is whether this new service will use location-based tracking data to trace text messages or whether the inability to ask immediate follow-up questions could complicate matters or cause a delay in emergency response timing.

What do you think of the text-to-911 service? In an emergency, are you more likely to use it versus a traditional phone call? Tweet us your answers @VanWestMedia.

Van West Media is a full service design, support, and consulting agency, offering comprehensive Internet marketing solutions for small to mid-size businesses.
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Bolt: Instagram’s new app

With Snapchat steadily increasing to more than 8 million adult users, the social race is heating up since last week’s leak of BoltInstagram’s first standalone app meant to rival its competitors.

Image via TechCrunch.com

Bolt features a speedy, single-touch submission of a photo or video to friends. The differentiators are clear:

• Faces of all your friends (phone contacts) are displayed in a scrolling row across the bottom of the screen.
• Tapping a friend’s face instantly sends them the photo or video with one move.
• Unlike Snapchat and similar apps, Bolt only allows you to share your content one person at a time.
• The “shake to unsend” feature allows the user to undo a Bolt within the initial few seconds of sending it. Shaking also brings up the option to save your outgoing content to your camera roll.
• Anyone who has your number in their contact list will have accessibility to send you Bolts. A “blocking” feature is there, however there’s no “reporting” feature for harassment or inappropriate content sharing.
• The content disappears from Instagram’s servers automatically 30 days after sending an image or video.

The disappointing news? Currently, Bolt is only available in three countries: Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand.

What do you think? Will you be “bolting” to download Bolt when it launches in your country? Tweet your answers or opinions to @vanwestmedia using the hashtag #VWMblog or leave us a comment below!

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