Instagram, the 30 million user strong mobile photo sharing service, is going to become part of Facebook for $1 billion. It’s the biggest online deal in a very long time, and everyone’s talking.
Some talks are about the high price. Some talks are about Facebook spending too much. Most of the talks, however, are about whether or not this is a good thing.
Many Instagram users are furious, while many non-Instagram users see this as a good service going downhill. Majority of people are doubtful about this buyout because of one single reason:
Instagram will be the first real sub-branch of Facebook.
The association with Facebook is making many Instagram users, who think of Instagram as having a spotless record, consider leaving Instagram completely.
Facebook does not believe in the isolation of services to the few elite, as many iPhone users usually are led to believe (or believe). That is why the beloved iPhone app, which is now available on Android, is now going to be basically a Facebook extension of photos, owned and operated by Facebook.
Regardless of what many of the Instagram users do, all Facebook users will probably end up having the choice of trying Instagram more easily in the future. All Instagram users should also end up having a lot more users to play around and share stuff with. It’s a good thing that Facebook bought Instagram. Here are some reasons why Facebook bought Instagram, why it’s a good thing, and how such things can affect you.
In the end, it’s up to you as to whether or not you want to be part of Instagram after it fully becomes a part of Facebook.
Because, regardless of your liking it or hating it (I’m liking it at the moment – hopefully I won’t hate it), Instagram is going to be a Facebook sub-website soon. All Instagram users are going to become Facebook users, directly or indirectly.
And the process is happening right now.
Is Facebook Buying Instagram to Fight Pinterest and Eliminate Competition?
Believe it or not, Pinterest is in short simply a photo and video sharing site. You simply have the added labels and visuals of a “pin” added to everything, like pins holding some images on a vertical board.
It’s a very nice visual twist to an otherwise crowded market.
Instagram does the same thing, though it does it solely for photos at the moment, and solely via one photo a page format. It’s also a format that works because it’s very simple for the person taking the photos.
Examples of Instagram photos from an Android user. With Instagram, you snap a pic, apply filters, and upload instantly to Instagram site! Then you can share it, again instantly with one tap, with Facebook, Twitter, and other places:
Facebook knows this. Facebook also knows that Pinterest is gaining a ton of traction compared to all other new trends. In fact, you may already be seeing Pinterest Pin It buttons around the internet more than any other new social media sharing site buttons on websites.
Is Instagram Facebook’s answer to Pinterest? It’s a great question to ask, and some have already started wondering. Facebook can keep Instagram around as a completely separate identity, focusing solely on mobile media sharing. This could easily stand in the face of Pinterest, while also giving Facebook power to have users outside of the direct Facebook website and brand.
Instagram does what Pinterest does, in a different manner, and much faster.
Pinterest adds the element of reactions to what you do on it, which Instagram doesn’t have. That’s where Facebook can come marching in.
Whose drinking more champagne today than Instagram employees? Pinterest employees, that’s who.
— Sameer Patel (@SameerPatel) April 10, 2012
What better way to focus on the media sharing arena of at least photos, something Facebook places grave importance on, than via two swords and two different approaches? Instagram is solid, already works, and is on the rise. Facebook is going to tap into it directly to promote Facebook, and will use Facebook to promote Instagram to mobile users.
In addition to possibly fighting with Pinterest, there’s another big thing Facebook is doing: it’s eliminating the competitor called Instagram.
Instagram users post on Instagram first, and many times they simply shared a link to their Instagram pages. Each Instagram photo resides on the Instagram domain. Since Instagram hosts the images, Facebook was not getting the first direct interaction. People on the go (hint: majority of the users today) have tons of options to post pics online.
With Instagram’s popularity, Facebook’s own photo sharing popularity for mobile users was being challenged.
Now, even if Instagram does 100 times better than Facebook Photos (with or without any upcoming Facebook and Instagram integration), Facebook still wins. Because Instagram will now be owned Facebook.
Will Instagram start using Facebook Accounts?
According to Inside Facebook, 20% of Instagram users already have Facebook connected to their accounts.
Could the new acquisition mean that Facebook will start having every new Instagram user register a Facebook account in order to use Instagram? Will a Facebook connection be integrated more deeply without requiring a Facebook registration?
The answer is a clear yes, though no one knows how soon such a move will happen.
Gonna get pissed if they ask me to login to facebook to use instagram!
— Dina Adlouni (@DinaAdlouni) April 9, 2012
“If Instagram starts requiring a Facebook login to use it, then we’ll know the answer.”
— Rob Isaac (@rmi) April 10, 2012
Things we can expect from Instagram/Facebook – FB login, more pressure to link Instagram pics, places, events, people, Instagram in timeline
— Dave (@Dave_Buxton) April 9, 2012
Facebook bought Instagram not just to fight off the competition or just to get the Instagram technology and staff. Facebook bought Instagram to buy the highly dedicated Instagram user base also. Such a loyal Instagram user base is what Facebook will use to drive its Photo sharing and Mobile trends across Facebook.
Facebook may, for the time being, rely on integrating more Facebook account features only, rather than requiring a Facebook account. For now, you can keep using your Instagram account. In the future, you may definitely have an option to merge Instagram with any Facebook account you may have.
Later on, the full integration between Instagram and Facebook is most likely something Facebook has already envisioned.
Facebook will be working its way up to the final effect with Instagram slowly, unlike how Facebook rolls out big changes on Facebook instantly.
You can’t risk upsetting all 30 million new guest users at once. Let them come in, let them enjoy the hospitality, and then let them know that the chicken and beef dinners will eventually be replaced with chicken and tofu dinners.
People reacting to Instagram-Facebook Deal
The reactions to Facebook buying Instagram seems to be actually fiercer than when many iPhone users over-reacted to the news of an Instagram Android App.
More and more people are talking about deleting their Instagram accounts.
Here is the some of the Twitter reaction over Facebook buying Instagram:
I can’t believe Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion! The fun’s over! Time to delete my Instagram account now. Also, what’s Instagram?
— Betty F*ckin’ White (@BettyFckinWhite) April 9, 2012
Go ahead hipsters. Delete the instagram app from your phone. I’m sure that will make the 13 employees who made 1billion dollars really upset
— lizborden (@lizborden) April 9, 2012
Yes, delete your Instagram accounts. Lord knows, you don’t want Facebook compromising the security of your stupid cloud and dessert pics.
— Kim (@kkjordan) April 9, 2012
guess i might as well go ahead and delete my instagram now. the Android ppl weren’t that bad. but frequent FB users are treacherous.
— Trill Gates (@McNyce) April 9, 2012
If you delete your Instagram account, because Facebook bought them, you probably have a basement full of canned foods and flashlights.
— Alex Williams (@alexcwilliams) April 9, 2012
Hey @instagram, how do I delete my account?
— jacobian (@jacobian) April 9, 2012
You should delete your Instagram accountand find an InstaPlasticSurgeon.
— Mohammed (@boo6aa) April 9, 2012
I wanna delete every social networking site besides instagram.
— Mark (@markmontan_YO) April 9, 2012
What’s the point of instagram if you don’t have any pictures and you don’t follow anyone? You might as well delete your account…. #why ?
— Maddison Larkin (@MaddisonLarkin) April 9, 2012
Instagram is a personal expression for me. It’s more than just an app. Anything photographic is. The FaceBook deal totally & royally sucks.
— Graham ‘Logo’ Smith (@imjustcreative) April 10, 2012
The interesting thing to realize is that the number of people not liking the deal still seems to be less than the number of people who are either ok with the deal, or who continue to use the services and talk about it without saying anything against the deal.
The voices are clear: many people hate the deal. Many people are going to stick around. Many people are going to delete their accounts because they hate Facebook. Many people are going to delete their accounts because they’re feeling emotionally upset. Many people will keep using Instagram.
However, compared to 30 million Instagram users, does it matter to Facebook and Instagram if a few thousand Instagram users stop using Instagram? Not at all. Facebook paid $1 billion to get a great photo sharing platform and 30 million users in the photo sharing arena. It’s a great deal to Facebook even if Facebook loses 2 million of such users (a very exaggerated number) and ends up keeping 28 million loyal users in the process.
There has to be a massive revolt or opposition to make any kind of significant change in such corporate decisions. Right now, the Instagram sale is enjoying an extremely smooth sailing.
Will Facebook Damage the Quality of Instagram Apps?
This is something I think should be dealt with very carefully. Instagram App rocks, in my view. The Facebook App does not rock in any manner, at least on Android.
Tons of iPhone users were already furious and vocal on Twitter over the Instagram Android App. For years, Instagram was only available on iPhone and worked almost perfectly, giving iPhone users some fuel to claim superiority over Android users. Now, however, the Facebook deal is making both Android users and iPhone users on Instagram question the Facebook deal.
Will the future Apps of Instagram be as good as they are right now? Will Instagram apps and service suffer because of having to work with the Facebook Mobile Apps teams? I don’t know at the moment. Probably no one does. What do you think?
Take the Android arena as an example. The Facebook Android app is considered by majority of Android users as being extremely buggy.
In fact, all the 1.2 million 5-star ratings Facebook has accumulated for over 2 years is going down fast with the 548,166+ 1-star and hundreds of thousands of other lower star ratings in the last 4 months alone because of the app’s inferior quality, clear indication of a hurried up app, and the Facebook Android team’s unwillingness to engage directly with Android users and hear the feedback.
In comparison, Instagram’s Android app has been out for less than a month, and has gotten higher overall ratings than Facebook ever did in 2 years.
Instagram Android App has gotten more 5-star ratings in the last 2 weeks than Facebook did in the last 6 months.
Now that Instagram team has been brought under the umbrella of the bigger corporation, will Instagram Apps suffer the same fate as the Android Apps? Will the Instagram team have to follow the Facebook team protocols and guidelines?
I’m not sure, though I hope Instagram is given the full freedom that made it what it is today. Every corporate purchase results in the company which is being bought to undergo changes and to start following tons of brand new rules. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out throughout the next few months, or at least through 2012.
If the Instagram team is allowed to do what they’re already doing, then it’s a good thing.
If the Instagram team is told to follow or practice what the Facebook Apps team does, then it may not be a good thing at all.
The Facebook Android team should be learning and following the Instagram Mobile Apps team, and not vice versa.
What do you think of all this?
I think Facebook buying Instagram is a great deal. It shows the first such big move by Facebook in expanding in a different, fresh and very strong area. I think it’s an exciting and fresh move for both companies and the user base also.
Buying Instagram may be the first real fresh decision Mark Zuckerberg has ever made.
It’s such a big and fresh move, that Facebook has publicly stated it may not make similar moves anytime soon, or ever.
We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. – Mark Zuckerberg – April 9th, 2012 – over Instagram Buyout
In the end, what is your view about all of this? Did you like Instagram before Facebook bought it? What do you think of Instagram now?
Do you think this deal is bad and will hurt Instagram users? Are you going to delete your Instagram account?
Please share your thoughts, comments, or any Instagram photo reactions to this topic below. Thanks for reading!Follow @besz