Facebook Spends One Billion Dollars – Why?
Most likely no matter what your interest in Social media you would have heard of the recent purchase of Instagram by Facebook. I suspect the biggest reason we all heard about it was the actual buying price – one billion dollars (Somehow I could imagine Dr. Evil stating that price!).
What is Instagram? – Here is their explanation taken from their home page:
“Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it’s as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.”
Instagram has no reported income to date but it has become very popular very quickly – approximately 15 million users since its inception in 2010. Without being a user of this product, I believe the filtering options feature is one of the big reasons it is so popular – helping make a digital photo taken on a mobile device look better. It offers filters (black and white, sepia toning, etc.) that you select once you have taken the photo to improve (and finalize) the shot. Then it’s ready to share.
So back to our big question – Why did Facebook buy this?
The answer I believe is simple – we now communicate thru photos.
On average we design around 30 new custom websites each year and this year we have really seen the demand go up for slideshows, photo galleries, and photo integration into articles. The story and message is often told now thru a photo (and not just words). And those photos help us interpret the story in a very different way than when we read and, most importantly, in a much quicker fashion.
It is very possible that that future story or message will be sent directly from the field as a finished product – to a website or social media site. And this is where I hear a very loud message from Facebook’s purchase –“We believe this is how people will communicate in the future”….
In 2010 I was visiting Australia and was sending my fiancé Vicki Payne photos of my trip from my Blackberry. This was highlighted as I spent a day in Sydney including walking across the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The actual reason I was not using a camera was for convenience and time – I could take the photo – add some “inspiring caption” – and SEND. At the time I did think it was rather magic in particular sending photos directly from the Sydney Harbor Bridge as I was experiencing the views.
But you are probably wondering how good the photos were? Were they keepers or did they have a 5 minute inbox life span? No doubt a tool that would clean up the photo at the point it was shot and then allow me to select an appropriate filter or theme and send it to my loved ones, my commercial website or social media may truly make a keeper.
So why did Facebook spend one billion dollars on buying Instragram?
Maybe they just recognized the evolution of that next “Kodak Moment”!