Today’s news is somewhat disturbing for Instagram lovers such as me and several tens of thousands of others who have loved the app for its simplicity and ability to snap a photo on the run via iPhone and upload while also sharing with connections on Twitter and Facebook in addition to the Instagram stream.
Facebook was apparently already under development with its new Camera photo sharing mobile app, set for launch later today, when it agreed to acquire Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million shares (that’s $1 billion). That private bedroom deal made CEO to CEO was quick, quiet and involved few others. It made Instagram founders gazillionaires, too.
Facebook promised the backlashing Instagram fans that it would allow Instagram to stay independent. It is still promising that today; however, one can only imagine the lure by Facebook to win over Instagrammers to Camera.
Looking at the flipside of this issue, hail to Facebook. Here’s what it did well:
1. Directly responded to analysts during its roadshow pre-IPO who said there is no Facebook mobile strategy. (This has plagued Facebook for months, and it was a major risk for the company to go IPO without a solid solution in place.)
2. Literally erased a key competitor from the space with the flip of a button and a few hundred million dollars. No lengthy boardroom chats and discussions, no public back and forth on purchase price and takeover threats, and no grandstanding. Just an honest-to-goodness-back-of-the-envelope acquisition between two wet-behind-the-ears CEOs (well each is under 35-years-old, right)?
3. Proved to new shareholders it means business in creating a solid foundation for success into the future. I’m not sure, however, exactly where monetization of Camera plays out; Instagram is free.
Listen a minute. I can hear the Instagram backlash already this morning as folks in all the time zones west of Indiana awake with their morning coffee. I’ll be signing on to Camera this afternoon when it comes online; I want to be one of the early adopters so I can write again about how well Facebook launches a brand new app to whet the whistle of we would-be professional photographers.