COMMENTARY | Instagram, which is a mobile-only photo-sharing app, will be purchased by Facebook for the sum of $1 billion. This is Facebook’s largest acquisition to date and never before have they acquired a company with as many users as Instagram’s user base.
Mark Zuckerburg, the CEO of Facebook, has stated through a press release that the plan is to grow Instagram independently from Facebook allowing users to continue using Instagram to post photos not only on Facebook but other social networking sites as well. Facebook will offer its engineering and infrastructure in order to continue the growing success of Instagram.
One has to wonder though the underlying intention of the purchase of Instagram. Instagram is currently a popular mobile photo-sharing app that has a user base of over 30 million users as of December 2011. Chances are Facebook would have additional plans for Instagram especially seeing the purchase price was quite steep. Although the press release is written in a very upbeat manner, there is still speculation to be had on any motives other than to just grow Instagram.
As Facebook continues to grow and acquires additional companies, I wonder what the ultimate plan of Facebook really is. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere without a business owner asking you to “Like” them on Facebook or be encouraged to go to Facebook for information. Just about every website has a link to Facebook.
Ever since the rise in popularity of Facebook, it seems like the art of socialization has changed and continues to change in ways society has never seen before. While I have a Facebook account, I use it rarely. Although there are many of us who choose not to participate in social networking on a large scale, there is a greater majority who do.
The thing to consider as Facebook grows especially as they prepare to go public is how much control in our personal lives do we really want to give to a handful of companies? When we post status updates, pictures, and update our profiles we allow much more to be learned about ourselves than we realize. It’s creepy when people we have never met know something about us from a wall or picture posted online.
With the acquisition of Instagram, Facebook puts itself in the position to continue to dominate social media. While the plan is not to currently integrate the two, it would be hard to believe that the ultimate goal is more than what is being presented currently in the media and in the press release. Only time will tell, but I can’t imagine it being better for the average person using social media.