BY now most everyone has heard that Facebook has purchased the popular photo-sharing company, Instagram, for a whopping $1 billion dollars. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, announced early on Monday, April 9th, he had purchased the company and planned on allowing it to remain independent. Instagram’s nine employees would continue to develop the app autonomously from Facebook. This didn’t seem to calm the uproar it created online as people reacted to the over-inflated purchase price, the fear of what the app would become, and what would happen to the Instagram community. While the concerns are valid, Facebook’s purchase was more of a strategic move to protect their future than to build out a new product offering.
The social media world was in a frenzy throughout Monday discussing the validation or stupidity of Facebook for spending so much on the photo-sharing app. For a while now, there has been talk of an impending “bubble” soon to burst in Silicon Valley. Facebook’s purchase was strategically done to prevent Instagram from encroaching in on their status as the number one photo-sharing site. Plus, adding the mobile community Instagram boasts will likely populate new Facebook sharing features and mobile photo taking abilities. This sentiment though was not widely adopted by all of Instagram’s community members.
Many complained that Facebook would ruin the app and cited the inconsistent nature of Facebook’s own mobile apps and feared those problems would pass onto Instagram. One larger concern though was how Facebook would protect the privacy of Instagrammers. While a majority of social media users love having the ability to sync their networks through one platform (ie Hootsuite or Tweetdeck), a majority of Instagram user base were those who preferred the smaller, intimate community Instagram offered. With over 30 million accounts, one cannot turn a deaf ear to their complaints. Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, promised that Instagram would not change when he announced Facebook’s purchase. He wrote,
The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you.You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.
His words did not calm Instagram users though as many vowed to boycott the app and turned to Twitter to voice their complaints. Some feared Instagram would die out much like FriendFeed did when Facebook aquired it.
Not everyone was complaining though. Mashable shared 20 Witty Responses to Facebook’s Purchase that deserved a few laughs. Overall though, Facebook had the money to spend and saw an opportunity to increase its longevity as the premier social network and #1 photo sharing site. While we also hope Instagram does not change negatively, we are excited for what Facebook can bring to the company and what they can do together. It will be exciting to watch what develops in the next six to twelve months as the companies share resources and brain power to continue offering its users a robust, visual experience that brings worlds together one picture at a time.
Some may say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Not when you’re Facebook though. It’s worth a bit more…