So Facebook has dropped about USD1 billion for Instagram.
Facebook is, arguably, the number one social media network in the world today. Instagram is one of the top photo sharing and editing apps on mobiles today. If you have an iPhone, chances are you have Instagram (and most likely you’d have it on your phone too if you’re an Android user).
The interesting bit about Facebook buying Instagram is that they plan to keep the services separate for now (one may assume that Zuckerberg has learnt from the Spotify fiasco that not everyone wants their Facebook friends to know what they are listening to all the time). The New York Times has speculated that FB wants Instagram because of the latter’s strong presence in mobile.
I would agree but the NYT stops short of pointing out that Instagram doesn’t just give FB the leverage it needs to compete in mobile.
It misses the point that Instagram’s filters means it’s one-upped Google in posting photos; Google’s Picasa and Google+ Creative Kits lets users add effects to their photos, something that you could not do from within the browser for Facebook photos. I think this integration will be a big one, when it hits. Buying Instagram doesn’t just give Facebook the expert advice it needs to succeed in the iPhone app store (Instagram’s Android version leaves MUCH to be desired), but it’ll also give Facebook an advantage when competing against Google+.
And no, I’m not even counting Pinterest in this article. It’s not quite there yet.