When Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced on April 9 the purchase of the popular photo-sharing company Instagram for the price of $1 billion dollars, the burning question on the mind of techies was, what does this mean for the social media giant and the future of social media as a whole?
For Facebook, rather than see Instagram grow into a possible future rival, the genius of the Facebook team sought to purchase the company outright and add to the potency of the social goliath. Does this mean that Facebook will simply absorb Instagram and eventually render the company lifeless, as appears to be standard operating procedure in such David-and-Goliath acquisitions?
Not so, according to the chief executives of both companies.
In an effort to reassure the 30-plus million Instagram addicts, company CEO Kevin Systrom immediately posted in his personal blog, Its important to be clear that Instagram is not going away.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg echoed those sentiments in his post about the new acquisition. 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, he said. This is an important milestone for Facebook because its the first time weve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We dont plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.
Instagram was founded in 2010 by former Stanford University students Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. In an unprecedented short period of time, the company saw the number of downloads of its app swell to more than 30 million nationwide to date.
The company has attracted the likes of rap mogul Snoop Dogg and Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, massive companies like General Electric, and even major television news networks, such as American Broadcasting Co., which uses the app in online transmissions of ABC News.
Virtually everyone in entertainment and business seemed destined to use the Instagram app in their line of duty. Zuckerberg clearly saw this coming. We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.
While Facebook plans to keep the two sites running separately, the entire Instagram team of six employees, now $1 billion dollars richer collectively, will be integrated into Facebooks corporate sphere. There, they will join their new owners 2,000-plus employees in becoming part of the 845 million active Facebook users.
For now, the wider world of social media need not fear. As Facebook itself insists, Instagram will still be available to them via other social media platforms. You’ll still be able to share Instagram photos to other social networks, Zuckerberg says.