If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…Reasons for Facebook’s Instagram Purchase Become Clear

In the wake of Facebook’s $1 billion Instagram buyout and recent IPO, Zuckerberg & Co. have just thrown us into even more of a tizzy.

Head to the Apple App Store this afternoon and install the newest Facebook offering—Facebook Camera, a standalone photo-sharing app that allows you to take, edit and browse photos on a smartphone.

Wait, isn’t that Instagram? Yes, but wait.

First, the Instagram purchase isn’t final.

Second, Facebook claims that Instagram will remain its own entity.

Lastly, Instagram has only 40 million users compared to Facebook’s 900 million.

Maybe Facebook has once again flexed its muscles, breadth and buying power to eliminate competition.

Follow the links below for more information regarding Facebook’s new app and clarity on the Instagram purchase.

New York Times: http://nyti.ms/LtgIgx

L.A. Times: http://lat.ms/LJbAv8

All Things Digital: http://dthin.gs/Kufiph

Cyber Monday Boosted By Social – and Mobile – Media

Image: winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (http://bit.ly/FDP_winnond)

So far this month, online sales have increased by 15 percent over November 2010, and no doubt retailers are hoping the trend continues on Cyber Monday. Last year, for the first time Cyber Monday was the busiest online shopping day of the year. More and more people are turning to the Web to find holiday gifts, and turning to technology to help them find the best deals.

Former Executive Director of Shop.org, Scott Silverman, shared on TechCrunch he sees a correlation between the growth of social media, particularly Facebook, and the importance of Cyber Monday. Not only do social networks allow for consumers to share great finds, but for retailers to reach their customers where they are. The 25 U.S. retailers with the most Facebook fans, have a combined 259 million fans. According to Shop.org, “29 percent of consumers will check out a retailer’s Facebook page as part of their online holiday shopping this year.”

In addition to Facebook, the growing blogging community is a huge resource for consumers. Many blogs sharing deals, not just for Cyber Monday but year-round, are run – and read – by arguably a top targeted demographic for retailers – moms. Many Mom and Savings blogs have a dedicated following that checks the sites frequently to help save their families money. Plentiful by the hundreds, if not thousands, popular savings blogs like the following use Facebook, Twitter and e-newsletters to spread the word: Common Sense with Money, Coupon Cravings, Deal Seeking Mom, Hip2Save, Money Saving Mom Southern Savers and The Thrifty Mama (just to name a few). Some have even developed smartphone apps to help their readers locate deals, including Saving Cents with Sense.

There are numerous other mobile and tablet apps to help people find Cyber Monday deals, as Mint.com shares in its Life blog. Among others, there’s RedLaser, owned by eBay, which “has seen scans go up 50 percent over the past year,” according to SeekingAlpha. Another, ShopKick, rewards consumers just for visiting a store, trying on clothes and scanning barcodes. Apps like DealNews and CheapDeals101 bring sales to the consumer by aggregating them for one-tap shopping.

Whether surfing the Web for the best deals Cyber Monday, or shopping online any other time, make sure to keep it safe by following taking necessary precautions to keep your purchases protected.