Thoughts on Instagram Purchase April 16, 2012

Written by: Digitally Approved
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Larry did a quick interview with The Marketing Arm’s ShareBlog, check it out…

30 Seconds With: Larry Weintraub, CEO and Co-founder of Fanscape

In the wake of Facebook’s very expensive acquisition of Instagram, the numbers are just a small part of the story.

Q: What’s behind Facebook’s billion-dollar Instagram buy?

A: What you often see with big technology companies is that they’re actually purchasing the people almost as much as the technology. Yes, they’re buying this photo sharing technology that makes their service more robust and knocking out a competitor, but they’re also buying the minds of the team and ultimately the creator of Instagram [Kevin Systrom].

For example, Facebook bought Gowalla not too long too ago. Meanwhile, you don’t hear about Gowalla anymore. So what did Facebook really buy? Some of the technology and some of the people, which just makes their offering better. A billion dollars may be a high price to pay for the Instagram team and that technology, but it’ll tell a better story when Facebook goes public.


Q: Speaking of storytelling, what role does that play in mobile photography? 

A: Photo sharing is exploding and Instagram is a leader in that service. We’re all getting caught up in Pinterest and Instagram, but the reason is because the quality of the photos that we take on our phones now are as good as a Nikon camera was two years ago – we’re talking 6 or 8 megapixels.

Then on the display side, if you look at the new iPad3 campaign, its focus is on the retina display. The iPad doesn’t seem to be that much different, but they’re hanging their hat on the quality of the photos because it’s the convergence of what I call “visual storytelling.” People are using these photo-sharing apps to tell stories. This is reflected in the rollout of Facebook’s new Timeline for brand pages where there’s a big emphasis on the cover image.

So is $1 billion crazy? Not for a great mobile-photo sharing experience, no.

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