You may not have thought it was possible, but there were apparently iPhone users out there who had not yet downloaded Instagram. But in the wake of Mark Zuckerberg's announcement that Facebook will be buying the photo and editing app for a billion dollars, Instagram has shot to the top of the App Store charts and has been downloaded 5 million times in the week since it hit the Google marketplace.
Many long-time Instagram users aren't as enthusiastic about the sale as the newcomers seem to be. While many Instagram faithfuls have let the app publish photos to the larger social networks -- including Facebook -- many have purposely avoided the networking giant. Many have cited ownership policies as a concern when it comes t photos on Facebook, and other just plain don't want to share their photos with the enormous network. Naturally, many of them are wondering what will happen to their favorite app when it's taken over by Zuckerberg and his team.
For its part, Facebook has said Instagram will remain, largely, its own entity. But beyond this one acquisition, many users and in the media are wondering what this means for the future of other small, niche social networks. The Washington Post's Hayley Tsukayama wrote:
It will be interesting to see if other social networks built around smaller communities -- Path, Diaspora, Hipstamatic -- will see jumps in membership following this acquisition.
But perhaps even more interesting, is whether this is just the start of the acquisitions. Zuckerberg has said he does not plan to make many more purchases like this one, but this was a bold move in the lead up to Facebook's IPO (which some say may happen as early as May 16). But as the company continues to grow, one has to wonder if it will take a new approach to growth. Users famously complain whenever the FB team announces a new site makeover, but perhaps a new strategy will be simply to acquire some of the most popular apps already integrated with the site. After all, Facebook has more information about what its users like than any other company in the world.