Instagram just proved that it was definitely the top dog of the photo-sharing market. Announced today was a monster deal that pairs the largest photo-sharing app in the market today with the largest social network in the world. Yes, that’s right, Facebook has jumped and bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, posted that they’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently and there’s no indication that it would act otherwise.
This acquisition totally makes sense and is probably a perfect one–as Mr. Zuckerberg mentioned in his post, the social network for years has been “focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family” and Instagram now gives users the ability to be totally creative and help post (what some may think) better photos to the social network. After all, a photo-sharing feature currently does not exist on Facebook’s mobile app and there are some who think that their native mobile app just plain sucks. Now, Facebook owns one of the most popular apps and will be able to integrate both the team and the app right into its collective and build something great.
One of Facebook’s efforts over the past few years has certainly been with photography–they apparently are aware that people with mobile devices have one of three options: updating their status update, posting video, and taking photos. Majority of the people will probably be snapping photos and in order for Facebook to continue to be a hub where people frequent daily and can be impressed with what their friends are publishing, Facebook needed to make some drastic improvements to their photo albums. After all, it’s all about the presentation, right? And that’s why over the past two years, they’ve enabled higher resolution photos to be uploaded, in addition to multiple other improvements. Just recently, they’ve placed a bit more emphasis on their photos by making them full-screen.
You might be wondering why people would be wanting to post their photos on Facebook compared to Flickr and even Google+. Well Facebook is much more social and interactive–sure, Flickr, and to a certain degree, Google+, are made to be the big dogs in photography displays, but Flickr’s innovation has slowly waned over the years leading people to discount its relevancy. Google+ is still struggling with the perception by some that no one uses it. So that leaves us with Facebook–and there are definitely people interested in publishing photos to the network. In fact, in February 2011, the company announced that it surpassed 60 billion (yes, billion) photos on the site, with over 100 million photos being uploaded each day! In perspective, in August 2011, Flickr shared that it surpassed 6 billion photos within its 7.5 year existence. So now you can tell me where the most photos are…
Oh, and do I also have to mention that Facebook grabs a great company with enormous reach? With over 30 million registered users and over 1 billion photos uploaded, this gives Facebook many many more photos that will easily rival their nearest photo-sharing competitor. Plus, with apps available on both major mobile platforms, iOS and Android, Instagram gives Facebook sufficient scale to be a serious photography player.
The $1 billion acquisition comes on the heels of Instagram pocketing $50 million from their latest Series B funding round from Sequoia Capital, Thrive, Greylock Partners, and Benchmark, as first reported by All Things D. TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis reports that many of the investors weren’t aware of the imminent purchase by Facebook, but pleasantly wound up waking up having doubled their money.
Both parties are adamant in saying that Instagram will remain independent–for how long remains to be a mystery. Nevertheless, there are cries from the public on social media asking Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg to NOT fuss with Instagram and treat it like some of their other portfolio companies, namely Gowalla and Beluga. So it didn’t take long for someone to create a pretty clever potshot at Facebook. Wittlebee CEO, Sean Percival, decided to create this little jab at Facebook, which could be a not-too-subtle reminder of what hell Facebook could put people through with their not-so-amusing notifications…
Want to also know something a little funnier about this whole Facebook/Instagram deal? Well turns out that Gary Vaynerchuk correctly predicted it at the end of 2011 on a webcast he did, called the Next Wave with Gary Vaynerchuk. Not really sure whether it’s pure speculation or maybe insider news, but it’s pretty amazing that he got it right. The prediction happens at 1:00 in the video below.
Photo Credit: Instagram’s blog post announcement of its acquisition by Facebook–as Instagram’ed by Christina Warren #meta