When the news first hit that Facebook acquired Instagram for one billion dollars, the confusion was palpable across all platforms of social media. Everyone was asking why and for what purpose? I think I can answer those questions from my own personal view as an active user of Instagram and Facebook. Instagram has become so huge over the last couple of years; it may seem like just one of the many social media sites that vain people use to post their faces but it has grown into so much more. It’s a form of communicating for people who can’t express the right words or don’t want to. I use Instagram mainly for documenting my life and peeking into my friends’ lives. It’s more convenient than Facebook because Facebook has gotten so cluttered lately with all the new changes. Instagram allows a relief from all the extra words and limits your interactions with just pictures, captions, and comments. I think that’s why the site is worth so much to Facebook, there are millions of users, especially with the new Android users that have come in by the pack. Instagram is worth that much because of its sheer impact on other social media sites. Platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and FourSquare are working hard and continuously updating so that users can integrate their Instagram photos with their various social media accounts. Why wouldn’t Facebook want that kind of little engine that could?
Another powerful thing about Instgram is that there are more sites branching off of its content, such as Instacanvas. Instead of trying to compete with Instagram, companies are working to capitalize on the available market on Instagram. And I think it’ll appeal to users to possibly make a profit off of something they did offhand. I think it’s wise for companies and other social media sites to hop on the Instagram train rather than trying to compete. Instagram is pretty much the only site of its kind. Users of this site want to turn their every day lives into works of art: a boring shoe made interesting with the right filter. I can see why Facebook would want to acquire this company; it’s become an enormous juggernaut in the world of social media. As long as they don’t change the original formula too much, they will have a large user base that will stay around for a long time.