Why we should be happy for Instagram


And not so concerned about Facebook buying them..

Most people read yesterday’s news about Facebook buying Instagram for a cool 1 billion dollars and thought, “wow that is crazy!”

But did you know that just a few months ago, and up until the present day, Instagram was a small team of a handful of people that occupied an “office” that was literally a conference room in Twitter’s old office building? At the time of the video above, Instagram had 4 employees. At the time of the sale, they had 13.

Talk about amazing productivity, right?

Price tag and company-size aside, there sure is a lot of controversy over the future of the service. From what I’ve been able to piece together from Twitter and tech blogs, people fall into one or more of the following camps.

Facebook bought Instagram. I hate Facebook, therefore I hate Instagram.

This is a little irrational to me. Until we see how things change (or stay the same) at Instagram, there really isn’t a reason to dislike the company for selling to Facebook. Like the band who once played in dive bars, slept in their van and sold cassettes out of the back of said van but later signed to a major label, plenty of folks are going to call Instagram sell outs. If you feel that way, go and watch the video up top again. These guys were occupying dozens of square feet, not thousands. They are young, smart, ambitious and want to change the world. Kind of like Facebook’s early beginnings, no?

Facebook will own my photos.

Technically they will. But guess what? Your online identity is only yours if you don’t have one. That is to say, the only way to fully protect yourself online is to not post anything. If you put a photo on a web site, then inevitably someone can and will be able to see it and or download it – if they care to. Instagram is a photo sharing app so at its very core, sharing is implied. I doubt that photos taken with Instagram today that are locked to specific privacy settings will just one day be unlocked and viewable by everyone.

Instagram will be less cool with Facebook users on it.

I have a suspicion that most people post their photos from Instagram to Facebook or also to Facebook in addition to Instagram’s social network. Personally, I rarely if ever just post a photo to Instagram and have about 2 friends there.

Again, how will a service you find cool today, be less cool with people contributing photos from more than one source? I have to assume that part of the reason Facebook bought Instagram was to integrate the two platforms together.