Instagram users revolt over Facebook acquisition
It was one of the biggest deals in internet history, Facebook (a website everyone has heard of) bought Instagram (an application most people havenâ€™t)Â for a whopping $1 billion. Instagram hasnâ€™t ever made a penny in revenue (well Facebook hasnâ€™t made too much itself), but it was a deal whose size surprised everyone.
It makes a lot of logical sense though. Instagram is a lot better for taking photos with than Facebook’s iPhone or Android applications. It offers users the chance to apply filters to enhance an image, although the most popular seem to be making a photo look like it’s been taken in the 1970s. But it also acted as an alternative to Facebook. Some of the Instagram users who contacted me on Twitter when I asked about their views said they liked it because it was not Facebook.
Many original users are unhappy with the sell-out: they’re worried about Facebook getting its hands on their photos. But in reality millions of people who had never heard of Instagram suddenly did over the past few days and it now has lots of new users. It sort of begs the question though, if a lot of the value for the app comes from Facebook owning it, could Facebook not have bought a less valuable rival in the very crowded photo sharing market? Perhaps not Path, the anti-Facebook social network that limits you to 50 connections but there are many others.
I have to confess, I’ve been a user of Instagram rival Mobli for just over a year. I prefer it because it handles video as well as still photos and because of the categorisation of content into thematic channels. It also has a lot of high profile users (not hard if a major shareholder is Leonardo DiCaprio). Mobli has been quick to take advantage of some of the nervousness of Instagram users by offering a “Import from Instagram” option. I’m sure some of the other rivals will offer something like this soon.