Facebook acquires Instagram: Reaction
The world is waking up to the news that Facebook has acquired mobile photo sharing platform Instagram for a cool billion dollars.
Here is a round up of the reactions from around the webs;
Mark Zuckerberg makes the announcement on his Facebook page;
I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.
For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. 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.
We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.
You can read his full statement here.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom breaks the news via Twitter
The tweet linked through to the Instagram Tumblr where Systrom had posted an official statement;
It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.
The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you.You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.
We’re psyched to be joining Facebook and are excited to build a better Instagram for everyone.
You can read the full statement here.
TechCrunch highlights how Facebook has made way for Instagram;
This is a really big departure from the way Zuckerberg has historically run Facebook as a single product. He has always been insistent that everything feed back into Facebook itself.
Keeping Instagram as a separate product and brand is reminiscent of what Google has done with keeping YouTube and Android as separate fiefdoms within the company following their acquisitions.
The website has also remade their logo in honour of the acquisition. You can read the full article at TechCrunch.
Quora weighs in
Over on Quora the techsperts have been sharing their views. Ryan Charles, former head of mobile at Zagat, said;
If you’ve read The Facebook Effect, you’ll understand how pivotal photo sharing was to Facebook’s growth. The ability to tag a user in a photo was also a tremendous social and viral mechanism for Facebook.
Instagram could easily become a baked in component of a Facebook mobile OS and the team understands how to build a mobile community from the ground up.
Tech commentator Robert Scoble shared his views on the $1bn price tag;
Today Facebook has NO revenues from mobile. None. That’s amazing, since so many people, hundreds of millions of us, use Facebook on mobile clients.
Instagram will let Facebook develop a new kind of Open Graph advertising. One where Facebook will be able to offer mobile developers a lot of money in return for opening their apps up to Open Graph.
Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are slobbering over this new potential revenue stream, so having lots of VC buy-in (they just got a nice payday) will be very important.
Imagine that Benchmark now “asks” all of its member companies to support such a new advertising scheme? This could result in billions of revenues for Facebook and member companies.
The Guardian highlighted the negative sentiment the deal has garnered;
Instagram and its various analogues have created a legion of smartphone users who are quite literally uploading billions of damaged images into the public record.
Make no mistake, you aren’t an artist. If you were an artist, you wouldn’t be using Instagram in the first place. You certainly wouldn’t be using a filter as a crutch.
At the end of the day, that’s what Instagram filters are: a crutch, a misguided replacement for a properly composed shot and a decent sensor.
– Chris Zeigler, writing at The Verge
The precedent is worrisome, though, if it means every time a startup encroaches on one of Facebook’s presumed strengths it will need to take out its pocketbook to defend its turf. That’s hardly a robust justification for a lofty valuation.
– Robert Cyran at BreakingViews
The most vocal outrage has been reserved for Twitter, with everyone from journalists and tech bloggers to Instagram users venting about the deal;
The strangest part of the deal
The Atlantic and Quora also picked up news that Instagram had sealed an extra $50m in funding only last week;
As a former entrepreneur myself, my sense is that there’s no way Instagram would have knowingly shrunk it valuation slice if they knew a potential sale was imminent.
It’s more likely that either the Facebook deal floored them, or that they were using the latest round of venture funding to show off their accelerating valuation to Facebook.
– Matthew O’Brian at The Atlantic
It seems clear that closing the investor round helped Instagram improve its negotiation position/valuation with Facebook. Instagram (closed) a big round that gave it enough money to stay independent for a long time while growing the company.
At that point, Facebook’s only option was to go big or go home.
– Muhammad At-Tauhidi on Quora
We are still gathering our thoughts here at the We Are Social office, and will be posting them on the blog shortly.
In the mean time, tell us; is this the end of Instagram? Does this change anything? Let us know in the comments.