I guess maybe it's a move to keep users in Facebook, but I'd be willing to bet a million bucks that almost everyone is discovering Instagram content via Facebook or Twitter.
Seems like mostly a huge waste of cash.
Roughly speaking, you might say:
Facebook: Social with everyone (polysocial?)
Path: Social with close friends (oligosocial?)
Pair: Social with your S.O. (monosocial?)
Twitter: Microsocial in text with everyone
Instagram: Microsocial in pictures (nanosocial? :P)
Couples like to hang out with other couples, so there might be revenue potential in the idea as well...
Everyone is trying to get into this, and for good reason, I think.
My family is filled with people that always have access to a camera and to the internet via their phone. We're spread out geographically and don't get to see each other very often. There is a HUGE opportunity to bring us closer together that would be greatly valuable to us. I would love it if part of our daily routine included looking at all of the photos anyone in the family has taken in the last day.
There are lots of solutions for us to do this, but for whatever reason, nothing has taken hold. Maybe everything is too manual, or maybe social networks are still focused too much on the browser and not enough on mobile. But for whatever reason, it's not happening for us. I suspect we are not alone and I think the explosion of people trying to get me to buy into putting my photos on their free service is indicative of this.
Honestly - is this not a solved problem? I have a hard enough time choosing what service to use to share pictures on, there's not exactly a dearth of services in this space.
While I can appreciate the idea of a "daily picture" (or whatever) in a more diary-form this is a completely different beast than a family photo / vacation photo / group activity photo etc., such photos only get better with time where an instagram is useless a social-minute after it was shot.
I'd love to have you try it out to help keep your family in touch, and maybe even talk further about your ideas around the problem. Please ping me at ajay[at]familyleaf.com
Some complications that continue to annoy me, though: she wants to print them. She wants them on her ipad. She wants them on her iphone. I hate manually sorting out which ones she would like to see and uploading them to whatever service.
The holy grail for me? I take a picture with my DSLR, and it knows who to send it based on what I took a picture of. If it's for my mom, it appears on all of her devices, which have "print" buttons on them that will make nice, printed versions show up in her mailbox. I don't think this is that far off, but it doesn't exist yet in idiot-proof form.
OurDoings has RSS better than Flickr.
- FB for photos for my relatives/friends that have FB accounts
- Posterous/G+ for more personal photos (just neat stuff I take a picture of)
- Costco Photos for my parents-in-law
I guess that last one is the "unsolved problem" bit, but there are blocking logistical issues to even get them on the internet that may not get solved any time soon.
Instagram, in providing a photo sharing experience (at least) on par with Facebook's, spanning multiple "social platforms", facilitates user migration across these platforms. In the current context, any user migration between social platforms would (almost) inevitably dilute Facebook's share of user-time.
Thus, it seems reasonable for Facebook to acquire this possible avenue of departure and generally maintain its current state while guiding future evolution of Instagram's product to subtly guide the flow of users along "Instagram Avenue" towards Facebook, rather than in its current unbiased direction.
Though useful from a business perspective, this sort of defensive acquisition is discouraging to me. I would prefer to see the evolution of "social" in general towards an open protocol for maintaining the actual user<->user graph structure and piping of information along it, with a loose confederation of services such as Instagram providing the content hosting/delivery. This would decentralize control of people's social graphs, with control being restricted to subsets of the shared content and its flow over the graph, rather than the actual graph structure itself. I.e. market-driven services such as Instagram would compete to control portions of the infrastructure implementing this new construction, which one might call the "world wide (social) web".
TLDR: Facebook's purchase of Instagram permits them to simultaneously reduce the instantaneous rate of user migration across social platforms while preventing the emergence of a competitive open social platform/protocol, the evolution of which would be greatly facilitated by the prior existence of third-party social content infrastructure such as Instagram, which reduces the size of the "chicken and egg" problem confronting any attempt at an open platform.
Instagram took the whole photo sharing idea and ran with it to the next level to include multi-platform sharing and picture editing. Put a social wrapper of some sort around that, and you're back where FB was when it took off several years ago--exception being you have BETTER photos.
TL;DR Photos win the social networking game. Good photo sharing + easy to use social == winning formula, see FB's early years and reasons for adoption.
Photos are a pretty solid natural barrier that could protect Instagram while they made that long trek.
That being said, stickiness and perceived lock-in with photos doesn't make the trek any less arduous.
Actually, this was probably a tech buy for the photo filters. Totally.
From captain Zuck's post on Facebook "We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience." (https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100318398827991)
And they're buying part of it with stock. It just doesn't feel like it's real money so FB doesn't see it as a $1 Billion.
Lastly, Google doesn't buy it and add lots of activity to G+ almost immediately.
Uninstalled. Congrats to founders though, well executed, guys.
Nothing has changed for the end user yet, has it?
Indeed, anyone paying attention can see that Facebook actively and systematically attacks user privacy. Instagram just became part of that.
So yes, something has changed.
It never ceases to amaze me how much lip service people pay to the need for privacy on social networks that are fundamentally based on the premise of broadcasting your private life to a fairly large audience. If you REALLY don't want that photo of the sunset that you took to be seen by the wrong person, why post it online in the first place?
1) Twitter is inherently much more public than Instagram.
2) "to a fairly large audience" is your personal assumption. Not all people use social media that way.
3) Photo of a sunset? That sounds like your being obtuse. Obviously many photos are much more personal than a sunset.
4) To be seen "by the wrong person"? Again, seems obtuse to me. The larger concern is the photo being permanently stored by the wrong corporation(s), to the eternal detriment of user privacy.
5) You are assuming that the user him/herself posts all photos of a given user. That is obviously not the case. Your photos, or photos picturing you, can be posted by others as well.
Suffice it to say, many users who do enjoy social media nevertheless do not want Facebook using everything they post for the next 25 years for marketing purposes. They don't want that content sold to other corporations, either. And there are many other possible legitimate privacy concerns.
It all depends on which "circle" or "bubbles" we live in.
In my mind, your arguments are flawed: my friends shared everything. My friends tweet their instagram food pictures. My friends posted their instagram sunset pictures on Facebook (seriously, I'm not joking).
Many of my friends and their friends enjoy social media and use Facebook heavily almost for everything including selling dresses, cupcakes, foods, services, shoes, lingeries, etc.
I'm not done yet: some of my female friends do have conversation about lingeries that they were tagged to on Facebook in Facebook.
Based on my "bubble", your "bubble" is the minority: a very small group of people who seem to be overly concerned with nothing.
It's probably cultural.
(1) that doesn't respond to his argument.
(2) no they didn't share everything. Presumably they shared what they wanted to.
And here's the problem with Facebook, explicitly: If you upload something to facebook by mistake and it's something you didn't want to share, Facebook winks and says "ok we deleted it" but this has been shown false too many times for users to trust that they actually have control over their own content.
What's the next Instagram? Is there an alternative?
Great A&B testing, guys.
This might suggest they started out with an 80/20 split.
How did that split come about?
If G+ bought Instagram and it made enough of a difference in G+ activity to make G+ competitive with Facebook, I could see how it could knock $1 billion or more off Facebook's IPO price.
Remember, it's 30 million of the more active social network users. These are the same type of core users that Facebook had back in its early days that helped attract the other 750 million users it has.
As a mobile social network, Instagram has no equal in the photo category.
It would be foolish to think that after a year and half a tech company with vc backing would not have at least 5 solid patents that could be used for defensive purposes.
Even if Instagram has patents that would in some way affect any yahoo holdings (specifically flickr), I don't see a $1 Billion value.
Don't forget that to the 2 billion people who live on about dollar a day, your material life is paradise and your wealth equally as appalling.
or it will stagnate everything in the market like youtube did to video (and is slowly trying to repair recently).