Last month Facebook announced it has bought Instagram. The two-year-old company sold for a reportedly $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram has shown incredible growth that now has over 30 million users.
Facebook’s dominance in the social network realm can be accredited to its photo-sharing features. Users upload more than 250 million photos a day and they spend nearly one-fifth of their time on the site browsing photos.
Instagram’s growth and broad user base got the attention of Facebook officials, particularly their use on the mobile platform. Now don’t assume Facebook will be repeating this trend anytime soon. In a post by Zuckerberg, he stated, “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”
Clearly, Instagram’s focus on the best photo experience was aligned with Facebook’s goals. “For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” the Facebook CEO explained. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on their interests.”
Zuckerberg also stated the company will operate independently and users will have the option to share to other sites as well as the option of not sharing on Facebook.
Instagram was founded in 2010 and now has 13 employees. Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post, “It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.”
Many users within the last month have shown they have grown weary of the acquisition. Maybe Zuckerberg was positioning Facebook to compete on the mobile front with the likes of Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Maybe Instagram was positioning itself to be acquired by Facebook. Instagram went to the perfect market to be spread quickly. To mobile and to the iPhone, it avoided a complicated website and messy interface for a clean and speedy app. Then recently it offered an Android app that had 5 million downloads in six days. Facebook knew Instagram was for real and according to Paul Ford in New York magazine, they had the means to know before anyone else.
And according to Paul Ford once Facebook plateaus in growth it will need to grow out. Out into other areas where it can engage and market it’s users to advertisers. This is why they acquired Instagram.
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