By now we all know Facebook decided to make a very small purchase (ok, so small isn’t the right word here – small if you’re Mark Zuckerberg) and bought out hugely popular photo-sharing app, Instagram. As expected, people took to the social sites and expressed their frustration , satisfaction and an array of other emotions towards Facebook and their newest acquisition. Most people’s reactions? How long will it be until Facebook turns Instagram into one of their many MANY apps? In so many words or less, how long will it take before Facebook ruins Instagram.
Mashable correspondent, Christina Warren, talks of ways to keep Instagram…well, awesome!
Here are some steps Facebook can take to keep from ruining Instagram.
- Keep The Team Together. Time and again, I see acquisitions flounder or fail under the new owner because the team was immediately split up. At Google, it’s quite common for the CEO or project manager of a newly acquired product to get moved into a different role in a different part of the company or with a different service.Often that means that the people that have the best understanding for the service as it exists and how it works are no longer around to guide it forward. More often than not, the service either dies, gets merged into something else, or continues to exist but is all but abandoned.
- Don’t Require Facebook Logins. I have always admired Amazon’s ability to acquire a company — sometimes even a competitor — and continue to let that competitor operate without integrating into the main Amazon ecosystem.Amazon has owned IMDb since 1999, but the user account I created in 1997 still works. Likewise, I can buy shoes from Zappos or audio books from Audible without linking to my Amazon account.For at least the time being, Facebook needs to make its own system optional for Instagram users. Chances are, most users will choose to integrate with Facebook — but please, don’t force it.
- Keep it Mobile Only. Part of the appeal of Instagram is that the whole app and experience are designed for the mobile web. Yes, there are a slew of excellent third-party apps and tools. But to share a photo with the world, you need to use a mobile app.To some, this might seem like a negative. But I firmly believe it is one of the things that makes Instagram special. The net effect is that I’m more aware of the photos that I share. It isn’t like Flickr or Facebook, where I can just upload an album en masse.With Instagram, I have to choose the photo, write a caption and select where to share. For that reason, the photos I share with Instagram tend to be the photos I actually care about.
- Stay Focused. Too often, acquired startups use their newfound wealth and resources to veer into other areas. Part of the reason so many people use and love Instagram is that it is focused on one thing: Sharing photos with your friends on your mobile device. That’s it.Don’t go into video. Don’t go into Panoramas. Don’t go into desktop uploads. Stay focused on pictures.
How can Facebook keep Instagram from being just another “app”?