You've probably heard the old saying, "If you canâ't beat 'em, join 'em." Last Monday, Facebook did just that when it purchased Instagram, a free photo sharing application for iPhone and Android. While there are a few theories as to why Facebook made this one billion dollar purchase, most of them stem from the same belief: Facebook feared competition.
Perhaps Facebook wanted to buy Instagram (which has been downloaded more than 30 million times since its 2010 release) before competitors like Google did. This would not only keep Instagram out of rival's hands, but give Facebook a competitive edge on its applications for mobile and tabloid users.
Some theorists, such as analyst Rob Enderle, suggest Facebook purchased Instagram in order to strengthen itself against rapidly growing Pinterest.
"Instagram is a reasonable competitive hedge against Pinterest. At the heart of both startups is picture indexing, they are just handled differently," Enderle said.
Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerburg, provided a very different reason for the purchase. "For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family," he said. "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."
Regardless of the reason for Facebook's one billion dollar purchase, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the new pair... if they last. According to Yahoo News, numerous Instagram users are outraged at the recent purchase, fearing a privacy breach because Facebook could have access to their uploaded Instagram photos. This led hundreds of Instagram users to delete their accounts.
What do you think about the acquisition? Was it worth it?
Photo Credit: Ambro
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