Facebook has made a major Internet acquisition today – it has bought Instagram, a photo sharing website.
Instagr.am is a lot like Pinterest but designed more with mobiles in mind. This is really the first big social step that Facebook has taken into the mobile market. Although their website is available on all smartphone and mobile devices, their main focus has been with text updates.
Justin Bieber famously used Instagram in the summer of 2011 when he shared a photo of traffic he was stuck in (“La traffic sucks http://instagr.am/p/IMhuj/“). The result was a lot of new Instagram users as the image went viral across the Internet. Snoop Dog is also an avid user.
Sharing photos online seems to be a new trend. Photo sharing sites have been around for years, with the likes of Flickr being major players. Photos can also easily be shared on other social networks such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook already. So why has Facebook bought Instagram for a million dollars? Well, let’s ask Mark Zuckerberg:
“For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests” ~ Mark Zuckerberg, April 2012.
So, this will allow people to easily take a snap shot on their mobile phone and then publish it with tags attached to help control who the photo is shared with. It will also start to compete with Google+ which has quickly become a popular place for photographers to share photos.
In recent weeks Facebook has changed the way it displays photos on the main computer website. It now allows you to view in full screen and photos can also be showcased on the new Facebook timeline.
Facebook is certainly making some big efforts to stay ahead of Google+.
Big question is – who will buy Pinterest? Are they even for sale? If Google won Pinterest then this would certainly put Google in the top spot for photo sharing.