Billion with a B – Why Facebook Bought Instagram

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. Some cry genius, while others call it insanity. If you’re not one of the 30 million people using Instagram, you are probably wondering what makes it worth that amount of money. Some common assumptions are…

It costs a ton to download. Nope. Free. You can’t even buy stuff in the app. You just use it to unlock more features.

It’s a huge company. Nope. 13 employees before the Facebook purchase.

It taps into hard to reach markets.  Yes and no. Yes because lots of “hipsters” use it—a group known for being hard to reach. But no because it’s mostly used by iPhone and Android users —you have to have a smart phone to access it. And those groups are getting less exclusive by the second.

It has a long track record of success. Actually, it just launched in Q4 2010.

So with those myths debunked, now we find out why Facebook made the purchase.

Instagram was competition. Instagram users take and share photos, share their location and interact with other users. That’s Facebook’s thing. And they were getting beat. They couldn’t beat Instagram. So they bought it. And finally, the real big reason that no one really wants to talk about…

Facebook will use Instagram to make a ton of money. Bingo. That could mean ads on your mobile screens. Keep this in mind: Facebook (and now Instagram) isn’t valuable because of its products or services—it’s valuable because of its users. And they will use their users to make money. If you’re not paying for the product, there’s a good chance you are the product.

The Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball recently sold for $2 billion. That’s 130 years of baseball tradition for just twice the amount of an entity less than two years old. This is the world we live in…But then again, the Dodgers don’t have 30 million brand ambassadors.

Guess who does?

Advertisements

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.

Trends, Tweets & Riots

Picture+18

Communicators are challenged daily to not only create buzz, but to understand, follow and keep up with it as well.

If monitored closely, a client could quickly position themselves as experts by jumping in on the latest hot topic. Conversely, they could find themselves pulled into a crisis simply by being in a related industry.

Either way, it underscores the importance of monitoring the latest hot topics and trends through the web. One such tool is Google Trends. Though it’s a great service, this tool only provides results based on topics people are “searching” for online. In other words, they heard the story somewhere else and have “Googled” it to find out more information.

Other technologies are now emerging that take this monitoring a step further. OneRiot has launched a service offering real-time viewing of hot web topics by scanning Twitter and Digg. And not only does it crawl updates, but it also scans the pages behind the links. This approach allows you to keep up with actual conversations and topics as they are being discussed.

Twitter has announced they will soon be expanding their own services to provide a similar function.

To learn more, click the link below for an article posted on TechCrunch.

Click here for OneRiot article on TechCrunch