The most popular social sharing site meets the most popular photo sharing app. On Monday, April 9th, Facebook agreed to purchase Instagram for $1 billion. This is phenomenal news for the startup company based in San Francisco, CA.
Mobile Photo Sharing Community
Instagram is the brain child of two Stanford University graduates, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Kevin spent two years at Google and Mike interned at Microsofts 's Powerpoint division. He later worked for Xmarks as a software developer.
Their passion for vintage Polaroid photography and the ability to instantly share snapshot was the start of a community that grew to 30+ million users!
So how does Instagram work? It's a free photo sharing app on IPhones and newly created for the Android market. Simply take a picture with your phone and you can then modify and enhance with several filters. Instagram allows users to post online to Facebook and Twitter.
As an interactive community, users can also add comments, rate images, update new photos, and attract followers. The service is 100% free without advertising and recently became one if the top Iphone apps after the news of the acquisition.
The Future of Instagram
The popularity of this app grew to amazing proportions over the last two years. This was due to the fact that people could easily connect and interact mobile to mobile with photo enthusiasts all over the globe.
This appears to be a serious push by Facebook to make a major impact in the mobile market. A few questions to consider regarding integration with Facebook:
- Will Instagram remain ad free as Facebook advertising continues to grow?
- What are the new privacy concerns?
- Will this change to a fremium service where users can upgrade for a fee?
For now Facebook hasn't announced any plans to change the service and disrupt the user base but you know that for $1 billion, rocking the boat is inevitable!
Facebook raised many eyebrows but how will Google and Microsoft respond? Google made a splash when they bought Youtube and is reinventing the company with G+.
Watch the next wave of mobile sharing startup companies explode in Silicon Valley as creative entrepreneurs cash in.