May 19 2013
Instagram, the photo application giant, has had a monumental week. Last Friday, Instagram launched the Android version of its application in the Google Play store and racked up over one million downloads by day’s end. On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, announced that the social network was purchasing the photo application for an estimated one billion dollars in a deal to be closed early this summer.
Instagram was initially released in Apple’s App Store in the Fall of 2010. It quickly became popular because of the unique lense effects which transform everyday, ordinary mobile pictures into artsy, surreal, vintage, and seemingly professional photos. In addition to the camera effects, Instagram also boasts a social media feed which revolves around users’ pictures. Sharing photos, following friends and other users, and posting the creations to other social media networks has created a loyal following for the application.
Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom intend for the merger to make both media applications even stronger. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook wants to use its resources in order to strengthen Instagram independently, as well as “offer the best experiences” for sharing mobile photos with others.
With the announcement of any merger, critics and skeptics tend to speak as loudly as the supporters. In this case, some people are wondering why a media titan like Facebook would spend a billion dollars to purchase a company with nine employees and virtually zero profit. Some believe that Facebook is concerned that the rise in popularity of Instagram threatens to upset Facebook’s corner on the photo-sharing market. Others believe the acquisition of the photo-sharing application means that Facebook will eventually incorporate, brand, steamroll, and otherwise kill the uniqueness and originality of Instagram.
Zuckerberg and Systrom insist that Instagram will retain its independence and the features which have given rise to its popularity. Ultimately, users of Facebook, Instagram, or both will simply have to wait and see. Check out this Facebook buys Instagram video on Youtube.