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Why Facebook Bought Instagram

Why Facebook Bought Instagram

Om Malik, writing at GigaOM:

Facebook and Instagram are two distinct companies with two distinct personalities. Instagram has what Facebook craves – passionate community. People like Facebook. People use Facebook. People love Instagram. It is my single most-used app. I spend an hour a day on Instagram. I have made friends based on photos they share. I know how they feel, and how they see the world. Facebook lacks soul. Instagram is all soul and emotion.

I am indeed interested to see how, on an emotional level, Instagram users will react to the Facebook acquisition. Will the "love" Om and others mention survive the migration to Facebook's infrastructure? Or maybe Facebook will really keep Instagram as a truly separate product, perhaps only slightly more integrated with the social network -- even if that doesn't make much sense for a $1 billion acquisition? We'll see.

In the meantime, it does appear the "social paradigm" Instagram reinvented (here's my take from 2010) intrigued Facebook enough to give away 1% of its market cap.

Also worth keeping in mind: the photo sharing app Facebook was building, and the popular content on Instagram.