Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Instagram, Facebook, and You.

You may have heard the news about Facebook buying a “little” app called Instagram. Funny, I just got the app on my phone last week after learning about its availability for us android users. So, I’ve barely checked it out at yet. But I have heard good things about it.

Launched in the Fourth Quarter of 2010, the icon for Instagram resembles an old Polaroid camera complete with nostalgic rainbow stripes.  Kinda makes sense since it provides an easy way to upload photos to various social networks. Speaking of vintage cameras, the Instagram photo shape has a cubed look to it.

Currently, the app has 30 million accounts and the recent launch on android brought over a million downloads in half a day’s time.  And now, a mere year and a half later after intro, the company is sold for 1 billion. Someone’s making money; interestingly enough, sources cite Jack Dorsey (Twitter founder) as an early investor.

What’s up, Facebook?

Could it be that Facebook wants to see more users access the social network when they’re mobile? And Instagram may provide the convenience for people to upload just about anything they feel like snapping, thus encouraging more engagement overall, on mobile, computers, and tablet? And more usage means more eyeballs on advertising on Facebook, thus enabling Facebook to charge more for those ads? Note the key word here is usage, not users since
Facebook is reaching saturation point in many markets.

Or perhaps there were rumblings from other social networks about making a big purchase, namely, of Instagram? A billion dollars’ worth of app just to keep the competition from getting it? Nah.

How ‘bout keeping your social network visible? Staying in the news and looking good for that IPO, perhaps? Could be a contributing reason for purchasing.

Was Instagram pondering adding sharing features to additional social networks besides Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr? Wonder if sharing to Google+ will ever be available. Ah, wait! Google, who acquired a nifty photo editing tool called Picnik a while back is now closing the website. Picnik’s landing page says “Picnik is moving its most popular editing tools and effects to Google+”. Will there be an app forthcoming down the road too?

A message released by Mark Zuckerberg is vague and a snippet of it states, “Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”

Increased Facebook usage though mobility makes the most sense.

What do you think?

Enjoy this classic Polaroid Swinger commercial. Click here.

This is the “I” entry for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here’s G and H.


Kevin Knauss said...

The secret: a good chunk of web searches are for images not necessarily documents. When I look at the Google, Yahoo, AOL and Bing searches that brought people to my site, upwards of 50% were from people searching for pictures. The right image with the right tag gets the hit.

I suspect that all the search engines realize this and are positioning themselves to better leverage this type of search for better search results and advertising. In addition, I think they are shooting to compete with Foursquare the popular check in app that also allows a user to post a picture. Look for Instagram to add check in capabilities through Facebook as Facebook squeezes out Foursquare access on their network.

Gerry Wendel said...

Great points, Kevin! It's true our world is becoming more visual and that pictures not only tell a story, but attract. Was going to mention Pinterest in the article but it was getting long enough already. Look what's happened with that.