This week started off with a pretty big move in the world of social media. Facebook purchased the photo sharing app Instagram for a whopping 1 billion dollars. Facebook is going to be made public soon and its purchase of Instagram was likely a move to add value to the company in the eyes of potential investors. With this acquisition Facebook has just become a big player in the mobile industry.
Many applauded the purchase as a good business move on the part of Facebook. One group, however, has not been as enthusiastic: the Instagram users. Instagram appeals to a very specific target market; young, smartphone users who consider themselves to be at least semi-artistic. Facebook caters to a very broad market comprised of people of varying ages and demographics. Many Instagram users have made it very clear that they are now planning to abandon the service because they are convinced that Facebook will “ruin” it. The NY Times covered some Instagramer’s responses to the deal via Twitter. Many users claimed that they were going to “quit” Instagram as they had quit Facebook in the past.
If these people are to be believed what does this tell us? Well, it means that Instagram users are not Facebook users. But, are Facebook users potential Instagram users? Chances are that Facebook thinks so and that this drove them to purchase the company. So far it seems that this assumption was well founded. Over the last 10 days the app has seen a tremendous jump from 30 million to 40 million users. Which is 1 million new users a day. Which is pretty impressive. Some of this activity could be contributed to the release of the Instagram app for Android phones but considering that Facebook has over 100 million users it is far more likely that Facebook users have begun to take more of an interest in the app since Facebook purchased it.
Since timeline became mandatory Facebook has become far more visually focused so the purchase of photography based app makes more sense now than ever before. While loyal fans of Instagram might stop using the service it is likely that Facebook users will make up these numbers and then some.