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Instagram: Can it survive Facebook?

April 9, 2012

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Turns out, Instagram is even more popular than we thought

Perhaps it was only a matter of time.

Today, Facebook announced it will purchase the incredibly popular (and frequently heralded by yours truly) photo sharing application Instagram for about $1 billion in cash and stock options. Clearly the app’s ever-increasing popularity (more than 30 million users gained in less than two years) was a threat to Facebook’s role as the leader in online photo sharing, a trend the company initiated nearly 10 years ago.

What might this purchase mean for marketers using Instagram and other photo-sharing sites?

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says nothing, yet. “…we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”

So, Facebook does not plan to roll Instagram into its own platform and hinder its transactions with competing sites like Twitter.

This is good news for marketers, who can continue to take advantage of the niche market Instagram caters to, including creative types such as musicians, artists and photographers, not to mention 30-something hipsters (though they would never admit liking a site that the general public is invited to use).

What do you think? Will Facebook’s ownership change Instagram for the better?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Angela Ulrich permalink*
    April 10, 2012 11:28 am

    I wasn’t too excited about the news since I love that Instagram is different from Facebook and has a different type of user and community. I’m worried it will turn into just another clunky app add-on under the Facebook umbrella. It also sounds like other Instagram users are having a hard time with the news: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/on-instagram-backlash-about-facebook-acquistion/

  2. April 10, 2012 9:27 am

    Great point, Bana! I heard today that Facebook is making this move simply as a way to show potential investors that they are strong on the mobile side (something they haven’t been known for in the past) and since Instagram is mobile-only, this meshes nicely.

  3. April 10, 2012 9:01 am

    I think people thought the same thing when Google bought YouTube all those years ago, and the only [substantial] thing that changed was the uptick in ads. So besides waiting an extra 60 seconds to see ‘David After Denist,’ I don’t think there’s been any other inconvenience for users or brands alike. If the Instagram-Facebook deal works the same way, I might expect more ads on the app (and thus more opps for marketers), but hopefully not anything that would change the experience for anyone. We shall see!

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