Instagram have had a busy week. On April 3rd it launched the Android version of its hugely popular iPhone app and received 1 million downloads in a day.
One week later on the April 10th Facebook announced it has acquired Instagram for close to $1 billion dollars a nice deal for Instagram and its 12 employees!
The meteoric rise of Instagram is something we have touched on here before and it's over 30 million users love the look and feel of the app. As a self confessed fan I was initially concerned about the future of Instagram. Top on my list of worries was a fear of push notifications and a linking of Instagram to other social networks. The backlash to the acquisition announcement (some users saying that they will no longer use Instagram) only serves to solidify Instagram's reputation as a cool, hipster, independent product. Facebook has a much less favorable reputation as an ever present commercial power, over-seeing all we do online. This view however is one of the reasons as to why Facebook bought Instagram , they are buying credibility and brand loyalty that Facebook has not had for some time if it ever had it in the first place.
Brand credibility and loyalty alone does not cost $1 billion, Instagram being the default way people take photos on their smartphones adds to their value enormously. It makes sense that Faccebook would want a piece of the action if only to ensure that Apple and Google don’t corner the photo-taking section of the market.
One of the key positivies that Instagram fans should consider is that Facebook doesn’t need instagram to make money so it may never get ads.
"The users get a better experience. Facebook gets more data. Users that are quitting Instagram because the service may be ‘ruined’ are barking up the wrong tree. Facebook sees the value in the network as it is, a photo creation machine with a lot of user love" Matthew Panzarino - The Next Web
If you are interested in reading more on this subject I highly recommend Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out by Paul Ford.