Facebook is the proud new owner of Instagram, the photo-sharing mobile app. Cost of the acquisition? A cool $1 billion. News of the purchase immediately sent the web into overdrive, launching the company into a trending topic on Twitter and causing a frenzy of searches on the social site. The picture-taking application that is barely two years old allows users to choose various artsy filters on the snaps taken with their smartphones. Predictably, loyal followers of the photo-sharing tool took to Twitter to voice their shock at the sale.
From the blog site Tumblr: “Kodak is going bankrupt and Instagram sold for a billion dollars. Wow, what is the world coming to?” The Wall Street Journal’s Dennis K. Berman tweeted: “Remember this day. 551-day-old Instagram is worth $1 billion. 116-year-old New York Times Co.: $967 million.” Adding to that stream of thought, Casey Johnston posted, “Instagram, a thing people like, sells for $1 billion. Yellow Pages, a thing no one likes, sells for $950 million.” Twitter handle @patrickrhone thought Facebook actually got a deal for Instagram’s 30 million users: “What Facebook is telling you it bought: Instagram for $1billion. What Facebook really bought: Millions of users for a few dollars each.”
The blogosphere weighed in as well. GigaOm pointed out that Facebook was actually running scared after Instagram proved to be a formidable competitor when it launched on Android phones and grew its membership astronomically. Why? “Because Facebook is essentially about photos, and Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s achilles heel — mobile photo sharing.”
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg acknowledged as much when he wrote on his company’s blog, “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But 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.” Instagram users may well acknowledge: Resistance to its new home is futile.