Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook has decided to acquire the massively popular free photo sharing application Instagram from Instagram Inc. for approximately $1 Billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter. Announcing the acquisition on his Facebook Timeline Mark Zuckerberg admitted that this is an important acquisition for Facebook because it’s the first time ever that Facebook acquired a product and a company with so many users.
This could turn out to be the most strategically correct acquisition yet for Facebook as it will help Facebook strengthen and improve its photo sharing capabilities for mobile devices. It is worth noting that even though Facebook has always ruled the social networking scene on PC/Mac and Tablets, at times Facebook’s photo sharing capabilities for the standard smartphone devices has left a lot to be desired. Now with the timely acquisition of Instagram it seems Facebook is trying to put this one little area of complain from the users in the bin.
” Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.” – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook.
We must point out here that Instagram has been a revolutionary product and has fan following of millions around the globe, so for Facebook to acquire such a company while it is still growing is a sign that Facebook knows where its competition lies. Instagram provides its users the options of taking a photo, applying a digital filter and then sharing it on various social networking platforms including its own, but what makes this acquisition evn more interesting is that Zuckerberg has said in his announcement that Facebook has decided to allow its users the facility to not only share their photos on Facebook alone but to all other networks just as before and even the facility to not share their photos to Facebook at all, which is a bold move indeed.
Zuckerberg says that Facebook’s goal will be about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook, which essentially means that users will be able to experience the same old Instagram features with a tinge of Facebook flavor added to it. He further added –
” we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”
Among the most important Instagram features that Facebook has decided to keep as it is, are-
- The ability to post to other social networks,
- the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and
- the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.
Zuckerberg called this an important milestone for Facebook saying that never before has Facebook acquired a product and company with so many users, and that it is highly unlikely if at all that they will ever do so again. The Instagram team would now work with Facebook’s strong Engineering team and have exposure to the necessary infrastructure which would allow them to grow even more.
That this is a strategic move to carve out its competition and at the same time improve Facebook’s photo sharing functionalities is clear from Zuckerberg’s statement –
“Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”
Thinking ahead and acting fast is what has always kept this social networking giant miles ahead of their competition.