If you haven’t already heard, Facebook has reportedely purchased the mobile photo sharing phenom Instagram for $1 Billion dollars! This is a power move that will join the largest social media site with the best and most popular photo sharing service. As we all know, Facebook users are adverse to change, so imagine the backlash that a move like this will receive. Dr J and I thought about the good and bad that can arise from this new union, and offer up the following points for consideration:
Pros – Financial Backing
Facebook has an IPO estimated to be worth $100 Billion Dollars.You have to figure that the previous owners of Instagram weren’t even working with .5% of that Facebook money. With the proper financial backing behind Instagram, they can add more features, get better advertising, and they would have limitless potential for growth. Plus I also have to add that you have to salute the Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger for this amazing 1 Billion Dollar come-up! I’ve been saying for years that I need to develop an app and win like these dudes. $1 Billion dollars of Facebook money?! Listen…
Cons – Brand Damage and Backlash To Inclusivity By iPhone Stans
App exclusivity is one of the trademark of the rabid and elitist members of iPhone nation. We already witnessed their resentment for inclusivity, as the backlash for Android users joining Instagram was epic to say the least! Facebook has over 600 Million members. Let that sink in for a second… OK, so imagine that all these Facebook users are sending Instagram shots from their laptops and Dell PC’s. To me, this takes away from the concept of Instagram, as it is an exclusively mobile application. To have Facebook users posting their Farmville scores easily to Instagram will dilute the quality of the app exponentially!
Mark Zuckerberg has already anticipated this concern and in his statement, he tried to quell the fears noted above:
We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.
That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.
We shall see if Facebook holds this to be true.
Pros – By your powers combined, I am Captain Facebook/Instagram
If you interested to see what motivated Facebook to make the move so quickly, look no further than when Instagram saw 1 million new users in a day. Instagram released an Android version of the application and the amount of new users went through the roof. Think about this, Facebook sees an opportunity to bring both communities together. Facebook can now serve as a medium for which many more millions of users with iPhones or Androids can join Instagram and increase their amount of users. What this means is that everyone can join in on the fun, regardless of the type of phone you have.
Cons – All those inappropriate and offensive pictures are connected to your Facebook profile
Linking your Facebook to Instagram compromises your privacy. One of the benefits of having Instagram and then having Facebook is that Instagram is a place where you can place pictures that you don’t want attached to your Facebook profile. Keep in mind, most people’s Facebook page has their full name, or some version of it. Instagram only shows a username which allows an extra layer of privacy over those compromising or offensive photos.
Let’s not front as if we don’t enjoy the ratchet side of Instagram either. I shudder at the thought of my mom following me on Instagram and gaining access to the IG “Red Light District.” I feel like she’ll want to have part 2 of “the talk” right then and there, and I’m Haitian so some form of a jenou might be in my future too.
Pros – Increased reach and integration with other social media
Facebook already allows for effortless streamlining of their services to other social media network, blogs, and the like. By acquiring Instagram, the technical possibilities are endless. They will continue to allow for integration to Twitter, Tumblr, and future social media sites, but why stop there? Think about the mobile Facebook apps and how they could integrate with Instagram to make both experiences less cumbersome. You could hook up a pic with all the IG filters, and then export it as a profile pic to Facebook instead of doing the usual 5 steps to get it on your page. You could post a pic from IG to Facebook, and integrate the comments from both applications so you have one big sharing (or roasting session) amongst different groups of people. Privacy wise, I’m not worried because Facebook doesn’t want to constantly war with users over the availability of content, so they’ll enhance those features as well. From a technology point of view, this could take IG to the next level, if executed correctly.
Cons – Instagram’s Infrastructure is not ready for a heavy influx of new users
We saw that the Instagram servers were not ready (and are still calibrating) to the new influx of users from Android OS phones. Imagine the tilt that would occur when they import all the Facebook users! Not to get too technical but this is an easily fixable solution if they migrate to the Facebook servers/infrastructure but even that could take months.
Cons – Mark Zuckerburg is not the most sane person on the planet
I’ve been warning the American people for a few years now that Zuckerberg is crazy. He is one of those type of people who makes a decision for other people and then tries to explain to them why they should love it. The more power you give somebody like Zuckerberg the more at risk we are for an extinction level event. Can you imagine what a prolonged downtime of Facebook AND Instagram would do to our world? The possibilities are limited. Let’s make sure we don’t set Dr. Evil… I mean, Mark Zuckerberg up for a big payday.
Pros – Catching the next big wave
Facebook took a big hit when Twitter came around. People didn’t really need to login to Facebook everyday like they previously did to find out what their friends were doing. You could literally follow someone’s timeline and see into their lives. Where they were going, where they had been, and who they were with. Applications like FourSquare and Lockerz also made it possible to share location and media with your friends. Facebook, just like other platforms such as Google and Microsoft, are always looking for the next big thing. Instagram is the next big thing. The easiest definition of Instagram is, “It’s a photo-Twitter.” By purchasing Instagram, it allows Facebook to tap into the next big wave of social networking/media.
This move can go either way. My hope is that the transition is seamless and we don’t have to worry about Facebook whitewashing an already solid application and idea. Let us know your thoughts, and any other Pros and Cons you think apply to this news.
StreetZ & Dr J