Will Instagram become Social Media History?
Just when you thought Facebook could not possibly further infiltrate your everyday life…it did. The Iphone’s and now the Android’s favorite free photo app, Instagram, has been acquired by America’s favorite social network for a reported $1 billion dollars.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement on his Timeline announcing the acquisition, which exuded enthusiasm for the Instagram team and vowed to maintain the basic integrity of what has made the app so popular.
In the post Zuckerberg states “We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently.”
Regardless of Zuckerberg’s lofty promises, Facebook’s acquisition track record proves otherwise. Facebook has a history of purchasing startup companies and integrating them into the main features of their site. Once a startup is acquired, both the talented founders and their life’s work are absorbed by Facebook… never to be mentioned again.
Skeptical of this claim? Have you ever heard of Hot potato? Beluga? Sharegrove? Friendfeed? No? That is because all of these startups have become staple features of the mega social network that is Facebook.
The Hot potato app allowed users to “check-in” wherever they went, sound familiar? Hot Potato was bought by Facebook in April of 2010, you now probably know it as Facebook Places. The talent and technology of Beluga, a company that specialized in group messaging apps, was bought by Facebook in March of 2011 for an undisclosed amount and has now been integrated into Facebook messenger.
Next time you lose your phone and all the numbers it contained, you will have Sharegrove to thank for allowing you to create a “Can I have yo numba?” group to help you retrieve them. Sharegrove was a budding startup that was acquired by Facebook in 2010 and subsequently disappeared into the community encouraging feature we all know as Facebook Groups. Friendfeed is another startup that was integrated into Facebook in August of 2009 and has been enhancing your newsfeed ever since.
Like Instagram, all of these companies used to function independently before they hit gold when they were bought by Facebook. However, hitting gold meant dissolving all independance and watching the brainchild that held their company name disappear into social media history.
With a track record of acquisition and integration like this, one wonders if Zuckerberg will handle Facebook’s newest purchase of the two-year-old Instagram in the same way. Is this the last we will see of the app that more than 30 million Iphone and Android users have come to love?