It’s only been a month and a half since we reported here at Canoe Tech Blog about Facebook’s announcing its intentions to acquire Instagram for a hefty $1 billion. Instagram is a free mobile camera app that allows you to quickly select take, edit and share photos quickly and easily. At the time, they said that they would keep Instagram operating as a separate entity. So why is it that today they released their own branded app, Facebook Camera (for iOS devices) which could be viewed as a direct competitor?
Similar with Differentiating Features
Functionally, Facebook Camera is a lot like Instagram. It’s also free and designed to quickly and easily share your photos on Facebook. It also has editing capabilities, allowing you to crop, rotate and even add filters just like Instagram, right on the spot. It also has a handy tap-to-tag feature, which will allow you to tag and identify photos before posting as well as the ability to select multiple photos to post all at once. For shutterbugs, this could be a great time saver.
They’re so similar. I’m still wondering about the timing, and why? Could it be perhaps that they are trying to appease some of the shareholders who purchased Facebook shares at the IPO (Initial Public Offering) price of $38 or even higher and have found their investment to have already taken a 15% haircut? Could it be that perhaps this is the 1st step in working towards monetizing mobile apps to finally justify the IPO price that many are saying was totally inflated to begin with? Or is it that may be they’re not going to be following through with the Instagram purchase after all? They could just pay the mega-breakup fee and be done with it. It’s pretty obvious that Facebook didn’t create this app yesterday that they’ve been working on it for a while.
I think the move is all about shareholder value and keeping the nay-sayers at bay. And ultimately, Facebook’s branding will swallow up any subsidiaries so that globally all they show is one face on the books, pardon the pun!
It should be interesting to see whether the app attracts new users or steal others from Instagram.
As an aside, I for one might hesitate initially, not because I prefer one to the other, although, so far, I’m ok loading one pic at a time. It’s just that I indulge in Empire Avenue, a social media site built on a gaming platform, which rewards users with virtual currency (eaves) for being social on-line and Instagram postings is one of the measurable activities.
Facebook Camera is available free at the iTunes App Store. It requires a minimum iPhone 3GS, 4th generation iPod touch or iPad 2, all running iOS for 4.0 or later.
Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.