I had a post scheduled for later on this week talking about my recent love affair with all things Instagram (even though I don’t actually own an iPhone) however, some news is breaking right now that kinda needs covering.
Facebook just bought Instagram, for $1bn.
That’s right: One. Billion. Dollars.
Stefan nailed it –
All you guys tweeting about how sad it is that the instagram guys sold out: shut your face. Do you know how much $1 billion is?
— Stefan Constantine (@WhatTheBit) April 9, 2012
Well, do you? It’s a lot.
To start us off, here are some numbers* to get your head around taken from the mere 18mths that Instagram has been in existence:
- 1 billion photos uploaded
- 30 million registered users
- 5 million photos uploaded every day
- 575 likes every second
- 81 comments every second
- 1 million downloads of the new Android app in 24hrs
That’s a lotta love for an app that is solely mobile-based. But why is that important to Facebook? Think about it – Facebook is about the data. As the saying goes: if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product – and Instagram just sold a whole ton of data about its users. Not personal data, or contact data but image data and sharing data.
What people snap, what filters they apply when they’ve snapped and where & how they share that snap is all important data for a social network that builds itself around social objects and the relationships that people form around them.
While this kind of purchase is new ground for Facebook, it’s refreshing to see that it has every intention of keeping the service independent and multi-platform friendly. Mark Zuckerberg has already talked about lending Instagram Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure – something that they’ll need when it comes to the building for scale. That sounds like someone who only has the app’s best interests at heart, certainly.
And while a billion dollars is a lot of money, Facebook has just bought itself its own standalone photo-sharing app, with a built-in base of happy users while at the same time cancelling out a potential competitor in the lucrative social networking space. Good things will come of this acquisition, Yahoo + Flickr this ain’t.
As Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, blogged earlier today –
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.
Remember, the future is mobile and Instagram have proven that a mobile-only social network is not only worthwhile but 100% achievable to boot.
*since April 3rd, 2012 – source
UPDATE – Other posts of note: