On April third Android users were able to download the crazy-popular app Instagram. Up to that point the app was iPhone only. The following Monday, now that Instagram was available to iPhone and Android users, Facebook acquired it for $1 billion. Since Monday, the chatter about this deal has been non-stop.
- What are Facebook's intentions?
- What are Facebook's motives?
- Is this just the next step in Mark Zuckerberg's journey to World Dominance?
- Should we be concerned about our privacy?
- Is the quality of the Instagram app going to suffer?
- What will Facebook do with the data you've shared about yourself and your friends with Instagram?
- Will Instagram start geo-tagging every photo you upload, something it doesn't currently do?
- Does this purchase have something to do with rumored photo-sharing features coming with the iPhone 5 and Apple's iOS 6?
@manandultraman tweeted, "I liked #instagram when it was stupid pictures and filters, not a #Facebook data collector - so I've quit. I'll miss it."
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For those of you who aren't familiar with Instagram, it is a fun way to share photos with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Instagram permits you to take a picture, choose a filter to alter the look of your photo and then post it to Instagram's website before you share it over your favorite social network. Instagram boasts 30 million members and says last year these users uploaded 150 million photos to its website.
Does Facebook need Instagram's 30 million loyal users? Just last June Instagram had only 5 million users. Is Facebook trying to build up its user base before its upcoming IPO? We know after the IPO Facebook will be focused on generating revenue. Instagram has users but no revenue, so where does it fit into this model?
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, assured readers of his Facebook page that Instagram will remain independent and its small staff would remain intact. Famous last words?
Clearly, there are many more questions than answers right now. What do you think about this idea? Facebook parted with $1 billion for a company that generates no revenue because it is a purely mobile application. Facebook's acquisition is a statement to the rest of the world that Instagram is on to something.
Things are moving quickly in the direction of mobile applications. Zuckerberg has said before that photos are a key component of the Facebook experience, now he owns a completely mobile application that can be used to enhance that experience. Others have written about Facebook's lack of a dominant position in mobile. Some have said potential IPO investors were "nervous" about Facebook's lack of a mobile strategy. Though there have been rumors of a Facebook phone, until that day arrives, Facebook is dependent on the phones currently in existence.
What do you think?
Will you be running for the free Mac app InstaBackup and abandoning ship?