By now you’ve heard that Facebook has done the unthinkable – and by unthinkable I mean it took for the news to drop before everyone realised that it’s completely Facebook-esque to do so – and purchased Instagram for the unfathomable amount of $1 billion. Toss aside your knee-jerk Dr. Evil quote for a moment to let that marinate. A billion dollars for Instagram is the largest acquisition to occur in social media. In fact, Facebook is probably the only social media organisation that would be able to afford what had seemed to be an insurmountable sum before this news broke. Sure, Facebook’s huge but $1 billion? They either have cash to burn (we know they do) or they also have a burning desire to purchase Instagram (we know they do). It’s interesting to note – or perhaps a convenience – that Instagram just launched it’s Android version of the popular photo sharing software. With it’s already rampant popularity on iPhones, penetrating the Android market was going to be a cinch and the opportunists at Facebook knew that they had to strike whilst the shutter was hot.
There are other factors to consider also – over the past few months, the value of Instagram as a company has been on an exponential rise. Word has it that just a few days ago the company was valued at $500 million dollars; just a couple of months prior to this it was valued at $300 million – one can only assume that the increasing functionality of the application cross platform was enough to convince Facebook that purchase was necessary and to also strike a deal before it had time to saturate the Android market and thus push the price of the business even higher (1 million Android users downloaded the application within the first 12 hours of it’s launch).
Not everyone is cheer leading however, with the familiar line from critics claiming Facebook are data hungry and impinging on user privacy, the acquisition has raised shackles of long time Facebook negative Nelly’s as well as Insta-hipsters who were content within their exclusive, sepia toned, rolled up skinny-leg jeaned smartphone app that made everything look beautiful. With what’s guaranteed to result in a huge intake of new users for Instagram, critics may have reason to be alarmed as it can only build upon Facebook’s already scary user-targeted advertising model whilst Insta-hipsters may unfortunately be faced with moving onto a much cooler photo-sharing app that you’ve never heard of and potentially may not even exist yet.
Time will tell what this will mean for the generic Facebook/Instagram user – we’re likely to see Instagram become more integrated into Facebook’s photo tabs, more brands utilising it for social media campaigns and Instagram galleries becoming a permanent fixture in user photo collections.
What we’d like to see? Instagram filters being able to be applied to every Facebook photo you’ve been tagged in.
The mind boggles.
Oh by the way, many of the stats and facts from this post were sourced from a variety of articles including this one.