Facebook announced on Monday
that it acquired the popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion, marking the social network’s biggest acquisition to date
On his Facebook profile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said
“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”
Instagram is one of the most downloaded iPhone applications, with more than 30 million users. It recently unveiled a version for the Android phone.
Kevin Systrom, the CEO and co-founder of Instagram, assured users that the acquisition won’t lead to the app’s demise. In a post on the Instagram blog, Systrom wrote
“It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.
“The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you. You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.
“We’re psyched to be joining Facebook and are excited to build a better Instagram for everyone.”
What does this mean for brands? Here’s London-based PR professional Adam Vincenzini’s take
“[The purchase is] confirmation of something that smart PR professionals have been aware of for some time now—photos are the most powerful format of content on the planet.
“To some, this might be old news, but static imagery (not videos, not text, not audio) is the easiest format for people to engage with.
“Take a look at your marketing and communications activities.
“Did you just get sign off for a company blog?
“Forget writing 750 word posts, only a handful of people will read them.
“Forget issuing 10 paragraph press releases, only the headline will be plastered all over Twitter.
“Instead, think imagery first.
“Not necessarily your own, but the library of shots your customers and stakeholders are taking on your behalf every single day."
Read Vincenzini’s full post here
. And, if you haven’t explored Instagram
yet, you had better start—now.