Instagram, the company that developed the most popular photography and photo sharing iOS app of the same name, was in the news recently for the release of its Android app. Now, while it is riding the waves of this new expansion of following, Instagram has apparently been acquired by FaceBook. At least, that is what Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced in a post on his fan page.
This is in fact a very logical step. One of the most widely used features of FaceBook is its photo sharing, and even people who do not do anything else on their Facebook use it to share photos with their friends and families, and view their photos in turn. Now Instagram lets Facebook users share mobile pictures with other users who are not necessarily their Facebook friends but share their interests. Thus you get a wider and more targeted viewership across Facebook for your photographs.
This is something of a milestone for Facebook, since this is the first time a product has been acquired that is so popular, nearly mirroring the popularity of Facebook itself. But Zuckerberg stoutly denies rumours that this is the first of many such acquisitions, and that Facebook is set to become a conglomeration of various app and feature developers. In fact, Zuckerberg clarifies that Facebook will not be acquiring any more app developers in the near future. Instagram was chosen because of its compatibility with Facebook, and the fact that most people use it to share on this social network.
Instagram fans are naturally worried that this will mean a lot of serious changes in Instagram, but Zuckerberg hastens to put our mind at ease from such worries. Instagram’s entire team of creative developers will be absorbed into Facebook. Facebook will try to use Instagram’s huge experience to develop its other features, and Instagram will get a chance to grow on the shoulders of Facebook’s substantially strong engineering team and infrastructure. Zuckerberg is adamant that Facebook will build upon Instagram’s strength and features rather than trying to absorb everything into Facebook.
Instagram users will not feel stunted by this new development. They will continue to be able to post their pictures on other social networking sites, and can even choose not to share on Facebook at all. The great part is that they will be able to find viewers among the 500 million users of Facebook, without being limited to the people they know.
This move is largely being seen as a smart and strategic move on the part of Facebook to stay relevant in an internet world that is fast moving towards mobile networking. Facebook users are understandably ecstatic at the opportunities this may present. One user describes this move as ‘bringing together peanut butter and chocolate’. However, Instagram lovers who do not use Facebook remain somewhat reserved in their opinions, and some express downright cynicism. Facebook will probably take some time to iron out the creases of this new union, and assure users of both services of a smooth and seamless photo sharing experience.