Instragram, an increasingly popular photo-sharing app, has surrendered it’s ownership to Facebook- allowing this social media giant to increase its mobile presence. The popularity of Instagram, a free service that sold for 1 billion dollars, involves the use of “filters” which are editing tools that transform photos into professional-looking snap shots. While Facebook has always been the largest photo sharing network, there are platforms like Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest which focus more on the storytelling and presentation aspects of photographs, sparking users’ artistic instincts. However, Facebook has always engaged more users because of its social component, allowing the most communication between friends and family. Integrating a popular mobile app that will combine artistic storytelling through photography with Facebook’s ever-present social network is smart move on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s part.
Facebook has struggled with mobile weakness and Instagram has proven how valuable the mobile experience can be. In less than two years Instagram signed up 30 million users (now reaching even more since its addition of the Android app). Instead of trying to compete with Instagram’s success, Facebook had the power to buy them and add to their social media monopoly. One change users should expect to see will involve mobile ads. Currently, Instagram doesn’t sell ads, but Facebook will be eager to utilize this audience and technology to facilitate their mobile ad campaigns. In Intagram’s platform of beautifully shared experiences and emotional visuals, advertisers can stray away from the crowded content platforms of Facebook and Twitter. As one blogger stated, “Would you rather run your ad next to an artfully sepia-toned photo of a cityscape or in the comparatively messy worlds of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube?”
Other anticipated changes involve better Instagram integration with Facebook Timeline and creating a stronger web presence for Instagram, because there is no official website for users to visit and manage photos. User’s may be worried about their cherished app being changed for the worse, but Zuckerberg stated on his Facebook page that the Instagram brand would be kept intact. This has been compared to when Google bought You Tube. It’s a strategic and defensive business move that will continue to increase the success of Instagram, Facebook’s mobile platform and photo sharing among social networks.