By Ermal Hajrizi
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but did you know that it’s also worth a billion dollars? According to Facebook that’s exactly how much it’s worth. The face of the company, Mark Zuckerberg, took to his page to break the news that the massive social networking site is acquiring the uber-popular photography application, Instagram. The deal is reportedly worth a cool $1 billion, part of it in cash, and the rest in stocks. Facebook says that it will migrate the entire team at Instagram, which consists of only 13 people, to its headquarters. However, they pointed out that it will remain an “independent” operation. Both parties confirmed that, as of now, no major changes will be made to the platform, and you will still be able to share photos on networks other than Facebook.
For those of you that don’t know (which would be fairly surprising), Instagram is an app for iOS and Android. What’s it do? The premise is simple really. Essentially, what you do is take a picture of something, apply a filter (usually something that makes the photo look vintage or retro), and share it through a plethora of networks. The service recently became available to Android users, and as a whole, Instagram reportedly has over 30 million users.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the service. On one hand, sure, its fun to play around with and occasionally, you can achieve some neat pictures with it. However, the feeling I get from users of the app is that everyone now thinks they are artists or professional photographers. The simple applied effects on subpar smartphone photos take away from the appreciation of true artists who shoot stunning photography using traditional methods. Whether or not this investment will pay off remains to be seen, but it can’t hurt to add another 30 million users. Then again, with nearly 1 billion users already, its hard not to expect most Instagram users to be tied to Facebook anyway.