Most everyone has heard by now: Facebook is buying Instagram for $1 billion dollars. Many were surprised about this move, even the investors in Instagram themselves (who doubled their money overnight, might we add). So, why is this such a big deal, and what will happen to Instagram now that Mark Zuckerberg has it in his clutches?
The app was founded by two Stanford Grads, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010. Right away the start-up got funding from a Venture capital firm and launched their app in 7 months. Within the first week Instagram had 200,000 users. Users grew at an exponential rate with 1.75 million in the next 5 months and 4 million 3 months after that. Some “prominent angel investors, including Twitter’s Dorsey, Chris Sacca and Quora Inc.’s Adam D’Angelo.” (Ironically, after being invested in by Jack Dorsey, Instagram has decided to side with Facebook.)
All of this growth was only with the iPhone and the app store. Last week, Instagram rolled out for the Droid and Google Play. With the advent of the app available on both markets and the buy out by Facebook an increased user base is a no brainer.
On April 9, Facebook announced that they were buying Instagram for $1 billion. Instagram’s valuation last week was around $500 million, but Facebook’s value projection doubled that. Overall, Instagram will help with Facebook’s mobile presence since that is a competitive advantage that Twitter has always had over them.
From Zuckerberg’s Facebook page “we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently…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.”
But What Does It Actually Do?
Instagram is an application strictly used on smart phones to share photos with friends. You can even edit your photo filters such as “ Toaster,” “Inkwell,” and “1977.” You have the option of geo-tagging your photo as well as sharing it on a number of social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, etc.) That’s it your done, it’s really that simple!
How Businesses Have Been Using Instagram
Several companies have utilized Instagram to hold competitions. For example, Brisk Tea held a competition for the best photo. The winners were featured on exclusive cans served at SXSW (South by Southwest). Many companies also use Instagram to promote their products online by posting their Instagram photos on Facebook and Twitter.
Overall, the Instagram takeover by Facebook will most likely culminate in a new outlet for advertising. Instagram photos may also have more exposure on Facebook now, spanning across the entire timeline like some Facebook photos do.
Some even hinted at possible “sponsored filters” that would be designed by certain brands.
We’ll just have to wait and see how the Facebook/Instagram partnership pans out. What do you think? We’d love to hear you thoughts!
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