Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram was yesterday’s crazy newsworthy story. Everyone is talking about it. In fact, so many people were keen to cover the news that the noise started to outweigh the logical coverage. I believe the best story covering this news was Om Malik’s post entitled Here is why Facebook bought Instagram. The most notable points are below:
In other words, if there was any competitor that could give Zuckerberg heartburn, it was Systrom’s posse. They are growing like mad on mobile, and Facebook’s mobile platform (including its app) is mediocre at best. Why? Facebook is not a mobile-first company and they don’t think from the mobile-first perspective. Facebook’s internal ideology is that of a desktop-centric Internet company. Instagram has what Facebook craves – passionate community. People like Facebook. People use Facebook. People love Instagram. It is my single most-used app. I spend an hour a day on Instagram. I have made friends based on photos they share. I know how they feel, and how they see the world. Facebook lacks soul. Instagram is all soul and emotion.
Instagram users are passionate about the app and their photos. It makes sense that Facebook wants its users to be passionate about photos over on its platform, too. Perhaps this business deal is a way for that to happen.
Federico Viticci has a great post about the acquisition over at Macstories. He neatly addressed people’s concerns that the service may go downhill now it’s been purchased:
I am not saying what Instagram did was “right”. Let’s get real, it’s not about “right” or “wrong”. It’s a business. And if the solution to this business happens to be a huge social network with lots of money in the bank, and possibly a decent existing structure to migrate our product without screwing our users too much, even better.
We don’t know what’s going to happen because of this deal. All we can do is speculate and congratulate the talented folks who just signed possibly the biggest business deal of their lives.
For now, the news that Instagram has landed on Android is still fresh. In fact, Instagram for Android had over 1 million downloads in its first 24 hours. The kind of scaling that must have required is incredible. If you’re into this sort of thing, Todd Hoff has a great piece over at High Scalability, analysing the internals of Instagram including their back-end. It’s a fascinating read – he really isn’t afraid to get geeky, and he gives a very detailed rundown of how Instagram scaled so rapidly over its brief life from inception on iOS.
What we can take from this whole charade of sensationalist hype is that sometimes it’s best to reflect on a story before getting up in arms about it. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Let’s wait and find out – then make sense of it.