Instagram and a billion dollar rationalization
The blogosphere is going gaga over the more than a billion dollar acquisition of instagram by Facebook. I have been reading different perspectives that are trying to make sense out of the deal. Some of them range from a positive ‘yes its justified’ to more cheeky like ‘they could have just downloaded it’.
On the other hand its interesting to see the psychology of the user that instagram targetted and a new behaviour pattern it ended up creating. We have seen this happen with foursquare too and more companies are beginning to create such new bahaviour patterns especially on mobile platforms. Ubiquitous mobile usage and maturing of the mobile platforms has created potential for developing new behaviour characteristics in users. Mobile has become the device that people are using to explore the world in very different and new ways. Apps on mobiles augment the reality around you as well create new experiences by bringing the world ( and your near ones too ) to you. This potential to interconnect personal experiences with innovative ways of expression ( using mobile apps ) is leading to a new paradigm which rewards a user to share more.
Instagram has been able to nail the experience of photosharing using a mobile by creating a personal rewards of ‘creating something cool’ with minimal effort and the rush one experiences of sharing the cool thing. Any service/application that enables such ‘creativity’ which produces dopamine in others has a chance today of dominating the fight for eyeballs. By designing such an enabler, Instagram has made its users into producers of great photo content which will continue to attract eyeballs and continue to attract new content producers. A billion dollars is more than well justified for the acquisition.