The dot com bubble all over again?
It can’t have passed you by that Facebook bought out its biggest photo-sharing rival, Instagram, for $1bn (£626m) recently.
I’ll start by making it clear that I don’t like Facebook and I don’t like Instagram. Facebook is everything I hate about social media, not to mention the fact that it’s everywhere you go online. Every page now has a ‘Like’ button and tells you, if you’re already logged in to Facebook, who else likes the page you’re on. Creepy.
I don’t like Instagram because it implies that a photograph is only worthy of being a good shot if it is heavily overlaid with retro/vintage-style, faded or unnaturally coloured filters. I don’t think it does anything for photography, much like Lomography. Occasional use isn’t so bad, but for every photo? It just doesn’t sit well with me.
Someone on Twitter amusingly pointed out that Kodak, who spent a century perfecting images, is now bankrupt yet Instagram, which makes a point of adding those imperfections back in to the final image, is worth $1bn.
I understand Facebook have bought access to 30 million users, which is sure to increase dramatically now that the Android app is available, but it’s seems a) like a ridiculous partnership and b) a massive over-spend.
After the news of the purchase broke there were many tweets from people suggesting that they would be closing their Instagram accounts, followed by numerous blogs offering advice on how to copy your image from Instagram to your computer. For me it was the catalyst to delete my Facebook account.
I used Instagram for a brief period of iOS camera app testing but stopped using it after discovering that their copyright and photo usage policy was not wholly in favour of the user. See my post on copyrights here for more information. (I should point out that I have not contacted Instagram to respond to my thoughts on their policy. This will come in a future post.)
How long before the Instagram experience becomes properly Facebook-ised? Facebook have said that Instagram will remain a separate entity, but they surely have to make that $1bn back at some point? Will it be ads? In-app purchases for new filters and effects?
It’s easy to see why so many people are scratching their heads over the future of their favourite photo sharing service.
I for one will most certainly not being going back to Instagram or Facebook.