We have learned a lot about Facebook’s $ 1bn acquisition of photo sharing service Instagram in the two weeks following the deal.
From details of the negotiations to the motivations that drove both parties to deal, a clearer picture has emerged about Facebook’s largest purchase to date.
In spending a ten-figure sum to purchase Instagram, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that such a deal may be the only one his company ever pulls the trigger on.
But some reports indicate that the Instagram buy was influenced by a competitive paranoia Zuckerberg has developed, raising the question: if emotion played a big role in driving the young billionaire to snap up a revenue-less photo sharing site for a gigantic sum, what will stop him the next time he feels he needs to go on a shopping spree to have the next cool thing?
It’s a question executives at video sharing startup Viddy might be asking following the news that the Facebook CEO has just joined their service. Viddy, which has attracted some 15m users, has been garnering a lot of attention of late and just raised funding from an all-star roster of investors which included Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and investment funds associated with celebrities like Jay-Z, Will Smith and Shakira.
As detailed by TheNextWeb’s Jon Russell, Zuckerberg signed up for Viddy with the username Zuck and posted a video of his dog playing at his Palo Alto house. So far, it has attracted more than 1,200 likes, a number that will almost certainly rise as word of Zuckerberg’s account spreads.
So what is one of the world’s highest profile chief executives doing on Viddy? It’s unlikely he found spare time; much more likely is that he’s checking Viddy out. Which makes sense: Facebook is the world’s largest photo sharing site, but video is important to the social network too and there’s good reason to believe it will become even more important going forward.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that Viddy will be receiving a $ 1bn buyout offer from Facebook tomorrow. But Zuckerberg’s Viddy account does provide another hint that Facebook may have reached the stage where it’s looking for ideas, not coming up with them. On this point, the Instagram purchase is instructive. For the first time ever, Facebook spent big bucks on a 13-person startup to buy a product that Facebook says it will continue to operate as an standalone entity. It did this even though it has a rapidly growing staff which includes some of the best product managers, designers and engineers in Silicon Valley.
That, for obvious reasons, may not bode well for the world’s largest social network. Whether that proves to be good news or bad news for upstarts like Viddy remains to be seen.