Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Facebook Businesses Social Networks The Almighty Buck

Facebook To Buy Instagram For $1 Billion 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the payday-at-the-instagram-office dept.
Dorduan writes with news that Facebook is buying Instagram, the company who makes the popular mobile photo-sharing app of the same name, for approximately $1 billion. Mark Zuckerberg wrote, "... 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. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people. We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook To Buy Instagram For $1 Billion

Comments Filter:
  • ...it was nice knowin' ya!
    • by Mojo66 (1131579)

      Yup. Just deleted the app. I also recommend doing this. [osxdaily.com]

      • Yup. Just deleted the app. I also recommend doing this. [osxdaily.com]

        Never heard of Instagram (but I have used Photobucket on occasion), and now I know I am unlikely ever to use Instagram. And BTW, my router already blocks all of Facebook's IP ranges, so I'm probably safe from Facebook's trackers. Actually, it's quite remarkable how many web pages have one or more "Forbidden" frames on them, not just the ubiquitous "like" buttons. Next, I guess the Instagram IP ranges must be added to the filter...

      • by allo (1728082)

        not enough domains. think of all the connect-stuff and fbcdn and such related sites.

        This are even the wrong domains. www.facebook.com is the harmless one, which is only active, when you WANT to visit facebook. the other subdomains and other domains are the ones tracking you on the web via facebook-comments, like-buttons, etc.

    • by oztiks (921504) on Monday April 09, 2012 @04:25PM (#39622529)

      Let me get this straight $1b for some freaking iPhone app? really? a free one? Who on earth gave these people money in the first place? and then let them go off and use that free money they received to buy a free app which apparently someone somewhere said was worth $1b?

      I really need to rethink this whole doing something tangible in order to actually make money concept. Perhaps look towards the do something miniscule but make it look like it was tangible department? any ideas?

      • Pentax was sold to Rioch a few months ago for £77million. It's a company that actually makes things, turns a real profit, and has a mountain of IP stretching back to the 1930's. In twenty years time, I'm fairly certain that Pentax will still be around. Can anyone really say the same for Instagram?
        • by oztiks (921504)

          What's disconcerting is facebook and their indescrimant use of their funds. The start up capital for instagram was 500k and all it is is quite a straightforward app. So facebook is buying the marketshare and brand. It isn't like FB hasn't these things ...

          Is this just another "I'm CEO bitch" displays of zukkers childish attitudes?

    • I never used instagram because it seems like it was just a photocropping/tinting gimmic. Okay so it had "the social" too. But really what was special about instagram besides the nostaligic cropping?

      There's only about 30 million downloads of instagram so there are probably about 1 million people still using it. that's 1000 a customer, for people who probably were already Facebook customers.

      I think facebook bought this just to foreclose some other social netowrk from forming around this.

      • The draw was that it's its own social network focused exclusively on snapshots. You may be on to something that Facebook bought it to stifle further growth of the social side of Instagram, now that it's available on Android.

  • One Billion? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:34PM (#39620643)

    OK, I have to admit it: I don't get it. What is it about Instragram that is worth $1Billion? Isn't it just a photo app with some built-in filters and sharing tools? Kinda like any other semi-advanced photo app?

    So again - 1 $Billion? I mean, grats to the Instagram founders for cashing out in a massive fashion. But is this just another AOL? Is Facebook just grasping at straws in terms of trying to grow?

    • Re:One Billion? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by teh31337one (1590023) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:37PM (#39620693)

      Facebook may never make that $1b back, but it's still smart. Instagram was the only thing challenging their dominance in photo sharing. Via Twitter [twitter.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pympdaddyc (586298)
      Without disagreeing with the substance of your post ($1 billion does seem like a lot for what it is), in principle things like notoriety/brand recognition, patents, and existing user base all are worth money, much more than whatever time it would take for a competitor to build an identical system from scratch.
    • Re:One Billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aaandre (526056) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:38PM (#39620715)

      The application details are a formality. The 30+million users are the product.

      Facebook is buying cattle fenced in by another app, and moving it within its world (where Google cannot reach :).

      • Fair enough. But how many Instagram users are NOT already on Facebook? To expand your analogy, this is like buying cattle that is sitting in a small little fence that is already surrounded by a much larger fence - your fence. This means that one of three things is true: Instagram users are for some reason largely not on Facebook, there's something about the Instagram app that is special, or Zuckerberg got suckered. I hope it's the last one, but... who knows. I'm still curious to see if I'm missing something

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "Social" is a tough game. By the time it's clear that a competing platform is a threat, they'll have their own established brand and overinflated stock price.

          Presumably Facebook believe that a large number of their users use their accounts primarily for sharing photos with friends.If some other platform starts serving that need, they'll stop spending time on Facebook, and if the platform reaches critical mass, they'll start "dragging" other users over.

          Remember that ad revenues go up as users spend more time

        • But how many Instagram users are NOT already on Facebook?

          *raises hand*

          Well, at least I used to be an Instagram user. Just got it when they debuted it for Android. Since I can't fucking stand Facebook, I guess that means I'm now done with Instagram, since even if they do keep it as a stand alone product, they'll probably require a Facebook account.

          /sigh...

          Any recommendations anyone have for a good free Android alternative for something to take quick snapshots, apply a basic filter, and share them with people? Tried Vignette and Retro Camera and they both sucked

          • But how many Instagram users are NOT already on Facebook?

            *raises hand*

            Well, at least I used to be an Instagram user. Just got it when they debuted it for Android. Since I can't fucking stand Facebook, I guess that means I'm now done with Instagram, since even if they do keep it as a stand alone product, they'll probably require a Facebook account.

            /sigh...

            Any recommendations anyone have for a good free Android alternative for something to take quick snapshots, apply a basic filter, and share them with people? Tried Vignette and Retro Camera and they both sucked compared to Instagram.

            I presume you mean without having to do the two or three whole extra clicks required to do it using the native tools?

            1. Take picture
            2. Tap it in the upper right hand side
            3. Tap it again to go to the gallery
            4. Tap the tri-button thing in the upper right handside
            5. Edit to your hearts desire
            6. Post to the universe.

            I get that Instagram and kin eliminated a few clicks. I suppose everyone who ever shares to it always applies filters. Otherwise, the workflow collapses to:

            1. Take picture
            2. Tap it in the upper righ

          • by avm (660)

            I am liking Pixlr-o-matic. Shares with anything, lots of filters and borders. Plus, you don't need yet another login to use it. Also available for Android, iOS, and Chrome.

          • by VValdo (10446)

            Any recommendations anyone have for a good free Android alternative for something to take quick snapshots, apply a basic filter, and share them with people? Tried Vignette and Retro Camera and they both sucked compared to Instagram.

            I am not a instagram (or facebook, for that matter) user, but I did take a quick look at Pixlr-OMatic [google.com] and it's probably what you're looking for.

          • by hkmwbz (531650)
            What's so popular about mobile photos with sepia filters? I don't get it. Why can't you just take regular photos and not apply sepia filters?
      • Re:One Billion? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by brit74 (831798) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:47PM (#39621463)
        Doesn't $33 per user seem a bit excessive to you?
        • by goombah99 (560566)

          Doesn't $33 per user seem a bit excessive to you?

          It's 30 million downloads of a free app. They would be lucky if they had even 1 million regular users. this is more like $1000 a customer. And I'd bet 90% of them already use facebook.

          SO that would be $10,000 per new customer.

      • Re:One Billion? (Score:4, Informative)

        by stephanruby (542433) on Monday April 09, 2012 @06:39PM (#39624479)

        The application details are a formality. The 30+million users are the product.

        Not just that. The Facebook IPO stock is also the product.

        And buying Instagram (for mostly what amounts to a stock swap) just before an IPO isn't as uncommon as you might think. Companies have been known to hire thousands of people for no other reason than trying to swell their headcount and ask for as much capitalization as possible for their IPO.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Some fun math to take the number of active users (not installed, not "created an account", but active) and divide the billion by that.

      Also fun to contemplate a billion divided by the number of pics taken.

      They're going to have to monetize that billion somehow, plus a profit... how is the mystery...

      • Remember that the Facebook T&Cs give them a nonexclusive, transferable, sublicenseable, commercial copyright license to anything you upload. They've started making money from selling photos that people upload, and I doubt this will stop any time soon...
    • Re:One Billion? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alen (225700) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:39PM (#39620729)

      1990's and prior - you had to buy and read magazines to get your celeb news

      21st century - celebs connect directly to fans via social networks

      the owner of the platform that owns this will have a huge opportunity in marketing

      look for pinterest to be bought next

      • by dskzero (960168)
        Pinterest isn't that important. If anything, Tumblr might be: except that Tumblr is probably already too strong. All this interest for Pinterest reminds me of the huge boner every social media site had for Posterous, and we all know how it ended up.
    • by pankkake (877909)

      Maybe they think it will help get them some money out of hipster's trust funds.

    • The wonders of the Extrovert Economy.

    • by macbass (868593)
      Look at it this way - a billion isn't worth what it once was. That's the only way I can stop my head spinning over this decision. Are apps the next tulip craze? And how many other disconnected thoughts can I get in here?
    • Re:One Billion? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dj245 (732906) on Monday April 09, 2012 @05:23PM (#39623449) Homepage
      It has also been shown that bubbles appear even when market participants are well-capable of pricing assets correctly. [wikipedia.org]

      In other words, even if everyone knows its a bubble, they will propagate it anyway.
      • It is quite rational, really... even if you know something is a bubble and will eventually burst, you might also think that you can make a bunch of money riding the bubble, and still get out with your profits before it bursts. Some people DO win; you just never know if you are going to be the one caught holding the bag.

        • by 21mhz (443080)

          Yeah, that's the thing that makes lotteries profitable... for their organizers.

  • by DdJ (10790) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:34PM (#39620647) Homepage Journal

    Delete the Instagram account, or just tombstone it?

    • by game kid (805301)

      It's clear Facebook says they'll keep insta pretty much independent.

      It's also clear that Facebook is about as trustworthy as a shell in a casino when personal information is involved. If I had an insta account with sensitive info I would delete it and send my disgust to Instagram for their CEO's CC-al real quick now.

  • by teh31337one (1590023) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:34PM (#39620655)

    Here's their reaction to Instagram on android: http://www.androidpit.com/en/android/blog/404116/instagram-for-android [androidpit.com]

    More here: https://twitter.com/#!/AndroidAGram [twitter.com]

    And my personal favourites:

    The Bad Guy @DamnLes
    Apple needs to stop whoever is converting their programs.. Now android have temple run and instagram.. its not special to have an iphone

    Michael @Periphereality
    @DamnLes I agree they need to stop the guy who keeps converting the iPhone apps! It should be illegal isn't it against copywright?!1

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by samazon (2601193)
      There are so many reasons I avoid Apple products (#1 being, I don't actually NEED a graphic design/video editing/print layout computer or other iGadget) and this has just been added to the list right underneath the idolatry thing. [slashdot.org]
      • Sigh... I remember back when slashdotters LIKED Apple and looked forward to new releases from them.

        http://apple.slashdot.org/story/02/05/13/1245241/preview-of-mac-os-x-102 [slashdot.org]

        • by Cederic (9623)

          OSX did make me seriously consider switching to Macs. Then Apple went all controlling and I just don't like that.

        • I liked Apple back before the iDevice bullshit. Now they're just expensive fashion accessories it seems. I mean, I've heard people make fun of each other because one of them had the last generation iPhone for fuck's sake. When you hear a 17 year old say "What is that, an iPhone 3GS? How's it feel to be poor, loser?" you realize that they're not devices anymore but status symbols.

          I know that there are many Apple users out there that aren't stupid like that, but unfortunately, they're not the ones blather

    • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:48PM (#39620819)

      Spoiler alert: All the platforms have their idiots.

    • by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:20PM (#39621151)
      My roommate was telling me about some rather amusing quotes he read with regards to Android Instagram. Our favorite:

      Android has Instagram? Well that does it. Prepare to be flooded with pictures of ramen noodles and food stamps.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:36PM (#39620673)

    We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook

    None of that makes any financial sense. I'll bet 5 internets on a 2:1 basis that within a year "instagram" is merely the name of the icon replacing "take a picture" inside the facebook app and all of the instagram social media stuff is merged into facebook.

    Its a pity, I was almost getting around to installing the android app, but now its like, why bother.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook

      None of that makes any financial sense. I'll bet 5 internets on a 2:1 basis that within a year "instagram" is merely the name of the icon replacing "take a picture" inside the facebook app and all of the instagram social media stuff is merged into facebook.

      Its a pity, I was almost getting around to installing the android app, but now its like, why bother.

      Considering Instagram's "niche" is a low-res photo with a shitty filter, replacing the Facebook photo functionality with ANYTHING remotely like this is probably enough to make Facebook useless to an even larger contingent of the general public. Some people prefer, you know, SEEING what they just took a picture of...

  • by readandburn (825014) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#39620737)
    This news is from earlier today, not from last week. I'm worried that Slashdot may be abandoning its roots.
  • Account removal (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#39620739)

    In order to delete your Instagram account, please visit our Account Removal page:

    https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/

  • Since it only came out on Android, I haven't had a chance to really care about it.
    No problem uninstalling it as I type this.

    Oh, and congrats to the guys that made it - sure got their payday!

  • Nope, no bubble here! All photo filter apps are worth $1,000,000!

    </sarcasm>

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Y u no understand powers of 10?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:55PM (#39620911)

    What's cooler than paying a million dollars for a useless hipster app?

    Paying a BILLION dollars.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Monday April 09, 2012 @01:56PM (#39620919)
    And I felt a million hipsters cry out in non-ironic pain, now with no online shelter from their mothers.
  • Business Model (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CuriousGeorge113 (47122) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:01PM (#39620961) Homepage

    1. Build a simple app.

    2. Generate a substantial user base.

    3. Make facebook feel threatened.

    4. Profit!

  • I installed Pixlromatic for Android before Instagram became available for Android, and I 've used it maybe twice.
    I don't get what all the fuss is about.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want"

    just because you arent posting it to facebook doesnt mean you arent sharing it with facebook in the end

  • by edmicman (830206) on Monday April 09, 2012 @02:25PM (#39621211) Homepage Journal

    Anything? Does Instagram have any sort of lock on "Implementing digital image filters on a mobile phone" or something that would explain a $1 bil valuation? Seeing how there's a ton of ripoff apps I wouldn't think so but you never know. Couldn't Facebook have made something in-house and have it automatically Just Work for their existing users, most I assume who are a cross section from the Instagram users?

    • by toriver (11308)

      No, I have at least five others on my iPhone: Hipstamatic, Plastiq, Infinicam, Lo-mob and Fusioncam. Instagram's claim to fame was the (largely Facebook-driven ironically) community functions.

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      My same thoughts. I wonder if Adobe doesn't have some of these but didn't feel the reason to come after them. Now that 1b is on the table, maybe is time for all image processing patent holders to show up for the cake.
    • They probably use CoreImage on the iPhone which is all Apple's work. You can use the built in filters or provide your own "kernel" that is some C code that gets executed on your image data.
  • Equallity? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chinton (151403) <chinton001-slashdot.gmail@com> on Monday April 09, 2012 @03:27PM (#39621899) Journal
    So, 1 Instagram == 800 AOL Patents?
  • Source- http://tmblr.co/ZIw7uxJNDWSA [tmblr.co]

    I’m going to go out and say it. I’m tired of Facebook acquiring startups I like. While I haven’t been a huge Instagram user, I use it a few times a week and appreciate the simplicity, design, functionality and community of the application. Unlike some I know the Android App launch didn’t bother me, the more platforms the merrier-I’m certainly no iOS snob. In fact, instagram is one of the few things that kept me from switching to Android (iTun

  • OK, so, I know some people that were at Gowalla when Facebook acquired them. Some of them bounced to InstaGram. Well, gratz to them, their option values just went through the roof, but now they're back with golden handcuffs to stay at Facebook where they didn't want to be in the first place.

  • by slasho81 (455509) on Monday April 09, 2012 @05:26PM (#39623485)
    Does Instagram make any money?
  • OK so a friend of mine has an Instagram account and wants me to "follow" him, but I cannot see how to sign up with just an ordinary web browser on a normal computer. Instagram's website is no help. Anyone?
  • Drunken Sailor

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Monday April 09, 2012 @09:32PM (#39626111) Journal

    Now all the hipsters fucking up their photos with utterly stupid filters can share them easier on facebook!
    I mean we are talking about the internet elite here aren't we? The same idiots who said (and I quote) "ew" regarding Android users using their service.
    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=iphone%20user%20backlash%20over%20android%20instagram&hl=en&meta=#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=iphone+user+backlash+over+android+instagram+-facebook&oq=iphone+user+backlash+over+android+instagram+-facebook&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=serp.3...12799l14431l0l14564l10l10l0l0l0l0l433l1937l0j2j5j0j1l8l0.frgbld.&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=58b7f9b5dc851469&biw=1528&bih=759 [google.com.au]

    Honestly, I cant' think of 2 groups better suited to hang with each other, it's utterly perfect. Elitist Apple idiots with terrible taste in photography and narcissists.

  • Mark Z: "I'll BUY your Instagram iPhone app for a MILLION dollars!"
    Dramatic pause with pinky finger to side of mouth...
    Instagram: laughter.
    Second in command at FB with a eye patch: Whispering (a million dollars isn't actually a lot of money in 2012)
    Mark Z: "I'll BUY your Instagram iPhone app for a BILLION dollars!"
    Dramatic pause with pinky finger to side of mouth...
    Instagram: GASP!

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

Working...