Instagram News & Updates


2 May 2011
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SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook will pay $1 billion in cash and stock for Instagram, a 2-year-old photo-sharing application developer, in its largest-ever acquisition just months before the No. 1 social media website is expected to go public.

The price was stunning for an apps-maker without any significant revenue, even when measured by the lofty standards of Silicon Valley, where startup valuations have soared in recent years. It highlights the rising stakes in the social networking market in which services such as Facebook need to constantly excite consumers with new features and mobile applications.

By acquiring Instagram - in a deal announced days after the startup closed a funding round that valued it at $500 million - Facebook may also have sought to absorb a potential rival or at least prevent it from falling into the hands of a major competitor like Twitter or Google Inc.

"Anytime you see a social platform that's growing that quickly, that's got to be cause to be nervous," said Paul Buchheit, a partner at the start-up incubator program Y Combinator and a co-founder of FriendFeed, which Facebook acquired in 2009.

"It would be better to have bought Twitter at this stage," he said of Facebook. "So if you're thinking this could be the next Twitter, it could be a smart thing to do."

The Instagram application, which allows users to add filters and effects to pictures taken on their iPhone and Android devices and to share those photos with their friends, has gained about 30 million users since it launched in January 2011.

Instagram says that as of the end of 2011, its users had uploaded some 400 million photos or about 60 pix per second, suggesting the sort of activity that Facebook seeks as it tries to wring revenue from mobile devices. Instagram launched its Android app just last week, garnering more than one million downloads already.

As Instagram's popularity has shot up in recent months, the company's leadership has mulled possible strategies to expand the service into a fully featured social network - much like a photo-driven, stripped-down version of Facebook, Twitter, or even Path, a company insider said.

Instagram is "a property that would have been amazingly valuable to not just Facebook, certainly Twitter was in the hunt as well," said Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund.

"I'm sure Google was interested as well. So to some degree an acquisition like this is both offensive and defensive. It would be a highly leveragable asset for anybody who wanted to compete against Facebook."

Instagram, with roughly a dozen employees based in San Francisco, closed a $50 million funding round last week from investors including Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners, according to a source familiar with the matter. The funding valued the company, founded in early 2010, at $500 million, it said.

Facebook, which is expected to raise $5 billion via the largest Silicon Valley initial public offering by May, will acquire Instagram's entire team.

"This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users," Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post. "We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all."

The deal, a closely kept secret at the tiny start-up, is expected to close this quarter. CEO Kevin Systrom announced the transaction to Instagram employees at a 9 am meeting on Monday, according to the source inside Instagram.

Taking a page from Google's book
The acquisition marks an exception in strategy for Facebook, which has traditionally bought small companies as a means of hiring coveted teams of engineers. Facebook typically discontinues the acquired company's products or builds similar versions that it integrates into its service.

Instagram, however, will not only remain running, but Facebook will build features into it as time goes by, both companies said.

Tech industry insiders were quick to draw parallels with Google's $1.65 billion acquisition of video service YouTube in 2006. YouTube retains its own offices in San Bruno, California, and largely operates independently of Google.

"Facebook is acquiring a similar company in that it's fast growing, doesn't have revenue or a business model, but has become part of the online culture," said Gartner analyst Ray Valdes.

"I would wager that almost everyone is also a Facebook user, so it's not like they're expanding their market," Valdes said of Facebook. "What they're buying is traction, they're buying engagement, they're buying brand value."

Facebook, the world's No. 1 social network with more than 845 million users, is facing increasing competition. Last year, search giant Google launched Google+, a rival service that offers many of the features available on Facebook.

With its purchase, Facebook said it would continue to develop Instagram as an independent app that remains compatible with other social networking services.

"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," Zuckerberg wrote.

Expensive habit
Instagram is backed by a number of Web industry bigwigs with ties to Facebook, including Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Benchmark partner Matt Cohler led a $7 million funding round in Instagram in 2011 and serves on Instagram's board. Cohler was also an early employee of Facebook, who still serves as a "special advisor" to Facebook, according to his profile on LinkedIn.

Facebook generated $3.7 billion in revenue in 2011, and ended the year with $3.9 billion in cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet, according to its prospectus.

While it was not immediately clear what portion of the Instagram acquisition price Facebook paid in cash, the price represents an "extraordinary" valuation, said Paul Deninger, senior managing director of investment banking firm Evercore Partners.

"There are no obvious traditional valuation metrics that justify this price," he said, though he noted that that did not mean that it would be a bad deal for Facebook.

Some tech industry observers noted that deal may dramatically ramp up the valuations on other fast-growing social media companies and app-makers - such as Pinterest - as entrenched Web players seek to snap up attractive assets and bolster their social capabilities to challenge Facebook.

"It will be interesting because if Facebook has to keep buying up the hot new social network, that could get expensive after a while," said Y Combinator's Buchheit.


Facebook world's no.1 Social networking site buys a Instagram photo app for $1 Billion.


What Is Instagram?
Instagram where users take pictures with smartphones, edit and retouch them with borders and filters, and then post the images on social networks. Instagram Founded in 2010, it has become the most popular free photo-sharing application on Apple Inc.

Where Instagram, owned by San Francisco-based Burbn Inc., was valued at $500 million after raising about $60 million.

Zuckerberg’s full announcement is show as below and in their Facebook Profile Post:
FTC investigating Facebook-Instagram deal'

The US Federal Trade Commission has reached out to Google and Twitter in an investigation into Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of photo-sharing service Instagram, a source familiar with the probe told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear what specific information the FTC was looking for, the source said. The Commission automatically initiates a review of any acquisition of significant size.

The acquisition of the top photo-sharing service on the internet is a crucial part of Facebook's strategy to bolster its mobile offerings, at a time when consumers are increasingly accessing the internet through smartphones.

Facebook had said it hopes to complete the deal -- the largest in Facebook's history -- in the second quarter, but some observers think that may be an ambitious target, given the size of the deal and Facebook's status as the world's No.1 internet social network with roughly 900 million users.

The FTC's review of the deal comes as Facebook is preparing to raise as much as $12 billion in a record-breaking initial public offering that could occur as soon as next week.

Some investors have cited Facebook's limited advertising revenue from the mobile versions of its service as a potential concern with regards to the company's long-term growth potential.

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment. Google was not immediately available for comment.

-Times Of India

Like Samsung, Facebook is also set to host a special press event on 20 June. Facebook’s invite read “A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product.”

Of course, there is speculation as to what new product Facebook will be launching at this event.The strongest rumour however, is that one could see a video product for Instagram, similar to what Twitter had launched with Vine.

According to Matthew Key, the former Deputy Social Media Editor for Reuters — who was fired for allegedly conspiring with Anonymous to help them hack into the systems of his former employer the Tribune Company — posted on his blog, that Facebook was testing the video feature.

He writes, The feature, which is still being tested internally, would allow a user to upload somewhere between five to 10 seconds of video from their mobile device to the photo sharing website, the source said. The source requested anonymity as they were not permitted to speak publicly about the feature.

TechCrunch has also reported that its likely that Facebook could launch the video app for Instagram though its not clear whether the feature will support video filters like Instagram does for photos.

The app if it is launched will compete with Vine, Twitter’s popular video-recording and sharing app that lets users shoot a six-second video that plays in a loop. Twitter recently launched an Android app for Vine as well.

Previously TechCrunch had also reported that Facebook could potentially launch a news reader app which could be based on an RSS like format. The report said, that the product would likely take advantage of hashtags that Facebook users can now add to posts to help its algorithms understand what topics different news articles are about.

For now, the video feature on Instagram or perhaps a completely new Instagram app with Videos seems more likely.

Firstpost - » Facebook’s event on 20 June: Instagram to get videos?

Instagram has launched a new app - Hyperlapse - that lets users capture high-quality time lapse videos even while in motion.

Traditionally, time-lapse videos depend on holding your phone or camera still while you film. Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilisation technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look.

You don't need an account to create a hyperlapse. Instead, you open up straight to the camera. Tap once to begin recording and tap again to stop. Choose a playback speed that you like between 1x-12x and tap the green check mark to save it to your camera roll. You can share your video on Instagram easily from there. Keep in mind that videos on Instagram can be up to 15 seconds long and will appear in a square format. You can't edit or add filters to your video within the Hyperlapse app.

Hyperlapse from Instagram is currently available for iOS devices. You can shoot a video for up to 10 minutes if you have an iPhone 4, or up to 45 minutes if you have an iPhone 5.

Time lapse videos are sped up to show longer footage in a shorter period of time. For example, you can record the sun rising and use time lapse to show all of your footage in seconds.


Hyperlapse: Instagram launches a new app that lets you capture smooth time-lapse videos - even while in motion - IBNLive

Instagram just rolled out its new app - Layout - to make it easier for you to create collages. While we were trying to understand what purpose could this separate app serve other than merely creating very basic collages, we played around with it for a while and here's what we think of the latest offering from the popular photo-editing and sharing service.

User interface/design

The app uses images in your phone to help you create collages. Once you open the app, it asks you to allow access to your phone library. It is here that the otherwise neat interface begins to appear cluttered. The upper half of the screen is taken up by the collage layout option while the lower half contains Photobooth and the photo gallery.

Visually it is quite confusing because you can't distinguish between the layout type which keeps on changing based on the number of images you choose.


You can insert up to a maximum of nine images for any collage (that's not much). The only feature that could be given slight attention is the images section which automatically sorts images into three sections - All, Faces, and Recents. The Faces tab sorts all your images with faces in it. Once you are done choosing the images and layout, it creates a collage and lets you adjust the image size and position within that layout.

The Photobooth option allows you to capture an image using the phone's front camera with an additional feature to click up to a total of four shots at one go.

While there is an option to adjust the size and position of the images within the collage, there is no option to edit those images within the app. Coming from a photo-editing app like Instagram, Layout dashed my hopes and made me love the all-inclusive Fotor app even more.

Other features

I am trying hard to find out if there is any other feature in Layout. You can flip or mirror the images in the collage. Oh, wait! there is also this obvious option of uploading the collage on Instagram or Facebook.


Honestly, I see no point of letting this app exist even in the app stores because it serves no purpose other than letting you create collages - a feature which even many default mobile camera apps allow these days. It doesn't even allow for image editing. Makes me wonder why Instagram bothered to even create this.
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An increasing number of popular brands are posting more on Instagram than on Facebook, a study conducted by New York-based research firm L2 suggests.

Both brand and social media users are slowly preferring the easier-to-use and “less boring” Instagram.

L2 said that around three million US teenagers stopped using Facebook between 2011 and 2014, while “the same cohort now cites Instagram as their most important social network”, according to a report.

Ranging from sportswear to beauty and consumer electronics, brands of all sorts are instantly captivated by Instagram’s organic reach.

L2 pointed out that, when it comes to beauty brands, some cult colour brands like MAC, Nyx and Urban Decay rely on their ardent fan bases for Instagram love, while others, like Proactiv and Estee Lauder, push celebrity influencers to boost growth and engagement.

Top brands’ Instagram posts generate a per-follower engagement rate 58 times higher than their Facebook posts – and 120 times higher than their Twitter posts, according to a research and advisory firm Forrester.

Facebook had decided to change its advertising policies last year and announced in a blog post that beginning in January 2015, “people will see less of promotional page posts” and stated that brands that marketed promotional content on the site “will see a significant decrease in distribution”.

Facebook bought Instagram in April, 2012 for a billion dollars, and Instagram is now valued at a whopping $35 billion.
Instagram to offer 30-second ads

Online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service Instagram has revealed at the DMexco digital marketing event in Cologne that it will feature direct response, 30-second video ads and integration with Facebook.

According to IHS Technology senior analyst Eleni Marouli, the introduction of a 30-second ad demonstrates once again that advertisers are more comfortable with traditional TV ad formats. “As ‘native’ as all these platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, Twitter) try to make advertising, the old formats prevail.

However, Instagram’s engaged growing user base, and its mobile-first strategy, delivers a very favourable environment for brand advertisers,” she notes.
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