Facebook Owns Instagram: You Got A Problem With That?

    April 10, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

As previously reported, Facebook has purchased Instagram for $1 billion. The app is enormously popular, and being Facebook-owned will most likely make it even more so. Still, some users have a problem with the news, whether it be the expansion of their beloved community, Facebook privacy concerns, or whatever.

Do you use Instagram? Will you still use it now that Facebook owns it? Let us know in the comments.

The whole thing is very interesting considering a recent survey found that Facebook users were rather annoyed by the plethora of Instagram pics that were already flooding their news feeds.

That’s really just a sign of how popular the service is, however, and until last week, it was only available for iOS. The Android version took off immediately, much to the ridiculous chagrin of some iOS users. Facebook’s 800 million+ user base should not do much to slow down its growth, even if some are leaving (or at least saying they will).

Here are a couple tweets that sum up a larger trend:

instagram: it’s like leaving a house I live in with people I love, because they turned the happy house into a bank. 3 hours ago via Tweetbot for iOS ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

I think it would be great if every #Instagram user quit in the wake of the FB buy, leaving it worthless. 22 hours ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

The inevitable “how to leave Instagram” articles have been coming out of the woodwork since the news. Many of them are pointing to something called Instaport, which is presented as “a simple way to export all your Instagram photos to other social services or your local hard drive.”

There are certainly many to choose from. Obviously Google+/Picasa web albums, and Flickr, but there is also Picplz (which I had been using on Android rather than caring if Instagram was available. It basically accomplishes the same thing, though it may not have quite as many effects). There’s PicYou, Lightbox, and plenty of others. Just Google “photo filter apps” and you’ll find plenty of options. There’s always room for other competitors to step up as well. What if Imgur (which anyone who uses Reddit is very accustomed to), were to add some features and mobile apps into their strategy?

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom shared some thoughts about the deal on the Instagram blog. “When Mike and I started Instagram nearly two years ago, we set out to change and improve the way the world communicates and shares,” he writes. “We’ve had an amazing time watching Instagram grow into a vibrant community of people from all around the globe. Today, we couldn’t be happier to announce that Instagram has agreed to be acquired by Facebook.”

“Every day that passes, we see more experiences being shared through Instagram in ways that we never thought possible,” he says. “It’s because of our dedicated and talented team that we’ve gotten this far, and with the support and cross-pollination of ideas and talent at a place like Facebook, we hope to create an even more exciting future for Instagram and Facebook alike.”

Don’t worry about Instagram shutting down and becoming simply a Facebook feature. At least for now (Things change. Ask picnik users).

“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,” says Systrom. “We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.”

“The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love,” he adds. “You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you.You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique. We’re psyched to be joining Facebook and are excited to build a better Instagram for everyone.”

Users and the media have weighed in with all kinds of opinions and speculation in the short time since the announcement.

Bruce Upbin at Forbes calls it “smart arbitrage”, and a defensive move, given that Facebook has plenty of money to spare and isn’t in any desperate need for more users.

Dan Frommer at SplatF calls the deal, “brilliant” because Instagram is rapidly growing, it has a noteworthy team behind it, and Facebook just took down its no. 1 threat.”

“The biggest threat to Facebook is a mobile-only or mobile-first social network that captures the increasing amount of time spent on smartphones in a way Facebook can’t or doesn’t,” he says.

I’m not sure I’d agree that it’s Facebook’s number one threat, but it is a valid point, regardless. It could have been a threat, regardless. In the same way Google’s biggest threat is people depending on its search engine less in favor of a more diverse selection of services and apps, Facebook faces a similar threat in how people engage with one another. Photos, Instagram’s forte, are certainly a major element of Facebook engagement.

The LA Times compares the deal to Google’s acquisition of YouTube. That deal actually brought a great deal of criticism Google’s way, but I think it’s getting to the point where it is making a great deal more sense to a lot of the doubters.

Mashable’s Chris Taylor talks about how Instagram as a product will benefit from Facebook’s large talent pool. “If Instagram had had an assist from thousands of eager Facebook engineers, do you really think the Android version would have taken that long?” Taylor writes. “Not to mention the iPad version of Instagram, which still hasn’t arrived. Granted, Facebook doesn’t have the best track record in timely iPad apps either, but I’m betting they’ve learned some lessons there.”

Matt Rosoff at Business Insider reports that the deal happened so quickly that no other companies (like Google) had a chance to bid on the acquisition. Likewise, Nicholas Carlson suggests Twitter blew it, given that co-founder Jack Dorsey “believed enough in Instagram to invest his own money in it.”

The Twitter angle is interesting in itself, given the die hard iOS crowd, which makes up a significant portion of Instagram users, and the increased integration of Twitter into the most recent version of iOS itself.

We have to wonder if Google would have pursued it. Perhaps as a defensive move of its own. The company is certainly not shy about acquisitions, though they have slowed a bit this year. Google may, however, be confident in Google+ itself in the photos department. There’s no question that photography has been one key area where Google+ seems to have flourished. There are a whole lot of photographers using Google+ on a daily basis. I know this because I follow many of them. Let’s not forget that it’s directly integrated with Picasa Web albums, as well. In addition to that, Google is implementing the popular Picnik into Google+ as it is shuttering it as a standalone service.

Do you think Instagram will benefit or suffer from the acquisition? Will Facebook improve? Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

    What amazes me is the value placed on Instagram.

  • Darnell

    Sorry, I will not be feeding Facebook my photos.
    I am through with Instagram.

  • http://lesleyfletcher.com Lesley Fletcher (@gypsyles)

    Your Tweet button isn’t working and TY for this info!

  • Norma

    I deleted the app immediately. I don’t want anything to do with facebook. Facebook has major issues with privacy and I certainly do not want to, as Darnell posted above, feed facebook any of my photos.

  • http://Www.mylastsime.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Instagram is a simple, often nonverbal way to share beauty as perceived by the beholder. Facebook is a micro society of friends, relatives, high school acquaintances, coworkers and a vibe that can become Lord of the Flies if you let it. I prefer the former and want no part of the latter. I didn’t like you in high school, didn’t choose you for a relative and don’t give a damn what your status is.

  • http://www.outdoortrailgear.com claire

    Not a fan when i heard the news. jury is still out for me – but I’m leaning towards not using it. then eventually it will be deleted.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone


  • http://www.kistgroupllc.com Scott

    Nope, don’t use it.

  • BMD

    Never heard of it, I’m just about done with Facebook too.

  • http://newmovementmedia.com Shawn Lyles

    Good article, I believe that Facebook acquired Instagram not just for their users but more so for their mobile engagement. Check out my opinion http://newmovementmedia.com/blog/instagram/facebook-buys-instagram-and-users-talk/

  • http://www.asifnkhan.com/about Asif Khan

    What else can Facebook do? Buy Google!
    They are just hungry of users.

  • JJ

    Two words: HELL NO!

    FB has consistently demonstrated its contempt for users privacy at the expense of exponential expansion of its corporate hegemony.

  • Jesus Coll

    When you live in a hired house, you cannot complain when the owner wants to sell it.

    Do not like migrating to Facebook, but if there is somebody to blame that is Instagram for selling it!

  • http://www.computerhowtoguide.com Computer How To Guide

    Jackpot for the Instagram’s folks :)

    ~Peter Lee

  • kimberly kirby

    i think that the print on facebook is too hard to read now that it is smaller

  • María Cristina raquel

    I think the print is too hard read now that ir smaller.

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    I also am amazed at the valuation. Mobile is certainly the way the world is moving so it makes sense for FB. I’ll bet that a lot of current Instagram users won’t be happy but they’ll pick up a lot of people through FB.

  • http://www.wedetectives.com Jasjot

    I believe the photo sharing tool of Facebook was good enough, and Instagram will just add more chaos to the already chaotic Facebook page

  • http://about.me/lasido Billy Lasido Z. S.

    Facebook and Instagram can’t be combine. I don’t know why, but it’s all about physiology of public. I predict that a quarter of the Instagram’s users will leave. It’ll be a different story if the Twitter was the one who bought Instagram. Well, I think the expert know why…

  • Katie

    I will NOT update instagram if it includes Facebook!!!!!!! I’m furious! And my friend can’t get it because her mom thinks it has something to do with Facebook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kenneth Manuel

      I would like it if Twitter bought Instagram better. I also use Twitter! Better than FB. It will be whole different if Twitter actually bought it!

  • Kenneth Manuel

    No offense, but fuck facebook. Instagram’s better off as an independant app. It also has changed my life. I dont know if i will continue using Instagram because of facebook’s fucked up privacies. They cant just ignore the fact that Instagram is better than their recent released Instagram clone, the Facebook Cam. Instagram IS WHOLE LOTTA BETTER ON ITS OWN. SO AGAIN, NO OFFENSE, FUCK YOU MAN. I loved Instagrsm in every way and now you screwed it up!

  • Ashley

    My instagram doesn’t even work anymore!! Will NOT load anything nor delete anything! Facebook go a way!! Not only is Facebook awful, but now instagram will be to!

  • Brad Bartz

    Mark Zuckerberg and his facebook crooks lost me as a facebook user because of his crooked character and i dumped Instagram the minute I found out that POS bought it as well.When that jerk is in prison and facebook closes,I will rejoice.

  • Brad Bartz

    Facebook thinks they can force their crooked business down the world’s throats like corporate bullies.I have news for them.I have something I’d love to cram down THEIR throats.I hope they all land in prison or bankruptcy.