#TheStream – Issue 3

Welcome to this week’s #TheStream! A day later than normal due to the Easter Bank Holiday, but considering the big news on Monday that’s not such a bad thing. Now grab a cup of your chosen beverage, sit back and enjoy our break down of the past 8 days in social, tech and marketing.

Facebook acquires Instagram

This is seriously big news.

Remember when Google bought YouTube back in November 2006 for $1.65 Billion? Well a very familiar story with the worlds favourite  mobile/social photo sharing application unfolded yesterday (09/04/2012). Mark Zuckerberg announced through a status update on his Facebook Timeline that Facebook had acquired Instagram and the entire team (all 12 of them!) who are behind the application. Very quickly we learned that the price of this acquisition was $1 Billion in cash and stock, a quite staggering amount of money for a team and product that had been valued at $500 million just a few days earlier.

This acquisition from Facebook makes clear why the Facebook Photo mobile app has never seen the light of day. It could of course be something that now turns up, in the same way as the acquired  Beluga team clearly had a lot of involvement with the Facebook Messenger mobile app. And while the photo area in Facebook’s, frankly below par, mobile application continues to not work as it users expect, the Instagram team will be able to bring some much needed expertise to the new offices in Palo Alto. This also comes a few months after Facebook acquired the very talented team from Gowalla to work on the new Timeline feature and they no doubt will also be influencing mobile and location as well.

It is important to note these points from Zuckerberg’s post on the Instagram buy:

“…we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people… We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.”

To all those concerned that Facebook will damage the app and it’s community you don’t need to worry. The team at Facebook truly value user experience and the communities that grow around products. As these points Zuck made show the app is only going to get better and they aren’t going to do anything to upset the dedicated community. That is another key point, the community around Instagram truly loves Instagram. It has connected with people in a way that the largest social networks can only dream. This of course also explains the negative comments that have been circling the internet since the news broke and we know that things do eventually change no matter what the initial intent was.

We thought this Tweet from @dkberman summed up the scale of this news neatly:

It also made us reflect on what we’ve all done in the last 551 days?!

Tom Anderson (MySpace founder) had some interesting points that are also worth reading, which he shared in this Google+ post.

So is Pinterest next on Facebook’s potential acquisition list?

Google’s Project Glass unveiled

So before the Instagram/Facebook scramble this was the biggest news, Google unveiled their already announced glasses project with this pretty awe-inspiring video and launch of the projects own Google+ page:

One of Google’s founders, Sergey Brin, was then spotted wearing the prototype glasses at a charity event:

It’s official, we are living in the future people! Here at Headstream we’re pretty excited about this and the possibilities but understandably it has also sparked many concerned reactions around privacy. Hopefully all of that will get ironed out before the rumoured launch at the end of this year. Whether or not they will work as advertised is yet to be seen and of course this has also resulted in its fair share of parodies:

Fingers crossed we won’t be getting ads served like this!

Instagram comes to Android, gets 1 million downloads in 24 hours

Most likely a helpful aid to it’s $1 Billion valuation by Facebook, Instagram for Android launched last week and gained an incredible 1 million downloads in its first 24 hours. Clearly Android users have been waiting for the launch for a long time.

Pinterest get’s its own analytics – Pinerly

The other headline grabbing social/tech startup Pinterest has a few 3rd party analytics options, similar to how Twitter has a number of 3rd party analytic tools dotted around the web with varying degrees of success. Pinerly is currently in invite only, alpha status and looks to help people analyse all the different areas on offer  from Pinterest. The basic idea is you set up “campaigns” through Pinerly and then receive a complete breakdown of your posts stats. Read the Mashable article for a complete breakdown of the service and its upcoming features.

Facebook is the place to promote events says Eventbrite

Eventbrite, the online event creation and discovery tool, has released some research titled “Social Commerce: A View from our London Office” that confirms what we probably all suspected that Facebook is the best place to promote events online. They have calculated the value of sharing on social platforms creating the below equation:

This is where it get’s interesting as from this Eventbrite have been able to calculate the share of value from Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin with Facebook the clear winner:


And here we have this week’s lolcat:

What do you think? Is the Instagram news as big as a lot of us think? Have we missed anything? Sound off in the comments below.

Until next time!