Very Pinteresting, Why Facebook Paid $1 Billion For Instagram

Facebook InstagramIn advance of its much ballyhooed IPO, Facebook, which historically made acquisitions of $100 million or less, bought Instagram for cash and stock approximating $1 billion. The photo sharing mobile app, launched less than two years ago, was valued at $20 million in February 2011 and $500 million as recently as last week (based upon investor funding).

So, why pay $1 billion for it and why now? Five reasons:

  1. Platform. Instagram is a mobile app, and mobile represents the biggest upside for future marketing and commerce. Facebook needs more mobile features.
  2. Graphics. Pictures and images rule the day online. They’re compelling content that conveys the you-are-there experience with one-click satisfaction, and then love to share.
  3. Category killer. In two short years, it is by far the best known and most widely used mobile photo app. Go ahead, name two others (I’ll wait).
  4. Accelerated growth — and poised for more. Instagram launched on October 6, 2010.  Two months later in December it had 1 million users. By September 2011 it grew to 10 million users, and now boasts 30 million users. And that’s with it being an iPhone only app until a few weeks ago. When its Android operating system version was finally released April 3rd of this year, it was downloaded over 1 million times in the first 12 hours. Android users effectively doubles the potential user pool. And all of this was before the hype and buzz associated with its acquisition.
  5. Pinterest — or, why Instagram was worth a billion bucks to Facebook. Also launched two years ago, Pinterest is likewise driven by graphics, allowing users to pin their favorites to collection boards with sharing via social nets. Like Facebook, Pinterest has a “like” function and users can comment on content. True, Instagram features user-generated photos while Pinterest links to graphics linked to the Web, but here’s why that will change. Read more of this post

Another Great Infographic on Social Media Use

Sixty seconds in social media smallYou hear it all the time. “Social media has arrived”, Social media is not going away”. “Social media must be a part of everyone’s (individual and businesses) online live” but what does that mean. Last August I commented on social media use at that time. So just how much has it grown?

The good folks at socialjumpstart.com compiled stats on what happens in social media — every minute.  The numbers are astounding, and of course are constantly in flux.  So take a look at their infographic (and note the updates at the bottom):

Every 60 seconds in social media

Updates:
Foursquare has 2x as many check-ins now ~10K per minute
A Stumbleupon representative told VentureBeat the company now does 25,000 stumbles per minute

Happy Birthday Facebook and an Apology to Mark Zuckerberg

the facebook original welcome screen

Facebook's home screen - 2004

Late afternoon eight years ago today (February 4, 2004), in a small room at Harvard University, Mark Zuckerberg flipped a switch and TheFacebook.com went live. Did he know he created a revolutionary platform that would help define the term social media? Hardly. As reported by The Harvard Crimson five days later, the Mark Zuckerberg of then is not much different from the Mark Zuckerberg of today: talented, impatient and cocky.

Having come off creating Facemash.com, his take on the popular “Hot or Not“site where people submit their photo for public judgment (except that he hacked the photos of Harvard students from the schools records resulting in student backlash), he turned his talents towards a Friendster type site — but one based upon “weak tie” connections like school; dorm residence; subject classes rather than a desire to find a date (or mate).  Perceiving the University’s attempt to create a universal face book as moving too slow, he wrote the code for TheFacebook in his dorm room in one week. Talented; cocky; impatient.

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg '06 (right) credits his roommates, Dustin A. Moskovitz '06 and Christopher R. Hughes '06 (left and middle) as the site's social directors.Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg '06 (right) credits his roommates, Dustin A. Moskovitz '06 and Christopher R. Hughes '06 (left and middle) as the site's social directors.

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg '06 (right) credits his roommates, Dustin A. Moskovitz '06 and Christopher R. Hughes '06 (left and middle) as the site's social directors.

After five days TheFacebook had 650 subscribers. Just eight short years later, it counts over 845 million worldwide registrants.  Early on, Zuckerberg rejected an offer from Friendster to sell for $10 Million just a few months after going live. A bold move for a college sophomore.

From the Harvard Crimson 2004 article:
“While Zuckerberg promised that thefacebook.com would boast new features by the end of the week, he said that he did not create the website with the intention of generating revenue. “

In 2008, he resisted Yahoo!‘s offer of $1 Billion (a move many thought foolish). This past week, Facebook filed the paperwork for a $5 Billion public offering that would value the company at between $750 and $100 Billion.

And so I owe Mark Zuckerberg an apology. In 2010, TIME Magazine named him Person of the Year. I wrote an entry at the time stating that it was not the best choice available (see Mark Zuckerberg,TIME Magazine Person of the Year — But Not Mine). But with a 28% ownership stake, Zuckerberg stands to be worth $28 Billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a “B”. Obviously, I was wrong in 2010 and for that I apologize.

I hope he’ll forgive me.

Social Media: An Essential Recruitment Tool

You’ve heard how companies are increasingly utilizing social media to recruit new associates, but what exactly does that mean? Jobvite‘s 2011 survey provides a look at which social networks recruiters and hiring managers use to find and assess prospective employees.

How Many Businesses Use Social Media?
Social Recruiting Plans

The answer is just about every company does, with almost 90% responding that they either already do or plan to use social media as a recruitment tool.

This makes sense, as more job seekers search for positions via digital means. Early in my career I poured over pages of job listings in the Sunday New York Times classifieds section weekly. Today’s digital route is much more efficient in finding opportunities and marketing themselves online.

Which Social Networks Are Most Important?
Social Networks for Recruiting No surprise here, LinkedIn, long known as the social network of professionals and recruiters, gets the most play with 86.6% of respondents utilizing that network. Launched in May 2003 as a business-related social network, LinkedIn’s 120 million members are a prime audience for talent recruiting and vetting.

What’s impressive are the numbers posted by Twitter and Facebook. Dismissed by many businesses, they provide a large, often different recruitment pool, with insight into prospects’ character via status updates, photos and affiliations.

When Do Companies Look at Your Social Footprint?
Use of Candidate ProfilesAnd as you can see, you’ve got an almost three out of four chance that the company you’ve applied to will search out your online presence – even if you do not provide them with their links.

Advice: Do your own social media audit. Perform a Google search on your own name and see what is returned. Check out all of your mentions to see which you should take down, modify or request a correction.

Remember: What happens online, stays online — for all to see or discover. 

Great Infographic on Social Media Use

See full infographic after the jumpEveryone likes a good infographic — a chart or visual that conveys important information in a visually compelling way — but not everyone who creates them does it right. I love this one called “The Growth of Social Media” by the good people of Search Engine Journal. A ton of info, such as:

  • If Facebook were a country it’d be the third largest in the world
  • 1 in 4 Americans watches a YoutTube video every day
  • 49% of Twitter users rarely or never check Twitter
  • 80% of companies use social media for recruitment and 95% of those use LinkedIn

And there lots more. See the full infographic after the jump.

Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,901 other followers

%d bloggers like this: