So everybody must know this by now, but Facebook decided to buy a little Spring present for itself in the shape of Instagram, for the measly ‘down-the-back-of-the-couch’ amount of $1bajilliontrillion dollars. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really didn’t see that coming!
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, as I’m sure most of you do too;
On the one hand, it can be great for organising events, gigs, shows, flash-mobs, riots, MDKs, and, well, the whole shebang really! It’s a great way to be the vainest person you know, and host thousands upon thousands of images of yourself in the perfect pose, bottle in hand, head held high, smack bang in the middle of a pop-punk jump. You can connect with all those people that you’ve lost contact with throughout the years, and then judge yourself against them to see who has ‘won’ the game of life. And of course, lets not forget about all those hours you can whittle away playing Farmville!
On the other hand however, it’s awful for the fact that people invite you to all of their events, gigs, shows, flash-mobs, riots, and MDKs. Pictures of you bottle in hand, head held high, smack bang in the middle of a pop-punk jump are posted endlessly showcasing the fact that you can barely jump half a foot from the floor without become out of breath. You get to “add” all of those people that you’ve lost contact with throughout the years, like the school bullies who picked on you for having long hair, and took it out on your kidneys for being different. You end up stalking your old secondary school friends to find out that their jobs, houses, cars, and general lives are hundreds of times better than yours… And of course, lets not forget all of those valuable work hours you can whittle away playing Farmville.
Where am I going with this exactly? I don’t know, I’m whittling, but there’s a reason somewhere.
As much as I understand the love that Facebook receives, I’ve never been one to give it the attention it so desperately begs me for. I’ve always fallen close, but just as our social networking relationship began to blossom, a cuter, younger networking website whisked me away from the out stretched claws of Facebook. First it was Faceparty, then Facewhore, followed by a brief flirtation with Facebook only to be courted by Twitter, Reddit, WordPress, Blogger and 4chan.
Instagram, the darling of the hour, is a service I grew to love almost immediately.
It’s basically a photo app for smart phones, which adds ‘retro’ (and I say that very lightly) screen effects over all of the pictures of food you take. For a guy like me who eats loads of food, it’s a necessity in life. Not only could I make a picture of my breakfast look like it was taken on a 1950s Kodak camera, but I could then share it with whatever social networking website I so chose. I of course post it to Twitter, as it’s my SN of choice, but there was the option of adding it to Tumblr, Facebook or some otherstuff that I never did understand.
Instagram also became another social network in itself, with users requiring these name things that differentiated between users that I could only describe as “usernames”. It came with the ability to follow your favourite poster of food photos so you’d never miss a meal of theirs, and a handy ‘love’ button, to let your favourite poster know that you were totally mad jelly of their Yorkshire puddings. It was great. It’s still great. I hope it will always be great.
I think what I’m worried about most, is that Facebook might take that all away from me. They might integrate the app into their own website, and who’d blame them? If you have “30 million users uploading 5 million new pictures a day”, why not force them to do it through your own website? Webspace doesn’t pay for itself, so maybe sneaking in an advert before letting a user upload would be the way to go? What’s that? You want to upload this image to Twitter? That’s not Facebook.. don’t be silly Ciaran! You know you only want to upload it to Facebook. Facebook. FACEBOOK.
Yes I know, I’m jumping the proverbial gun, and Marky Mark Zuckers himself said that “Instagram would continue to work with rival social networks. That will allow users to post on other services, follow users outside of Facebook, and to opt out of sharing on Facebook.”, but who really trusts that guy? He killed Bill Murray.
Look at OMGPOP; one second they’ve created the global phenomenon DrawSomething, the next they’re being bought out by the bad guys at Zynga, and their CEO is posting ridiculously idiotic PR-destroying tweets calling out ex-employees for refusing to be part of the deal that cost Zynga a cool $200million. Anything can happen, and something, somewhere, at sometime, will.
What then world? What then? How will I know what Ashley’s had for tea? How will I know what Emily’s birthday cake looked like pre AND POST digestion? How on earth will I get to see the newest Burger Anarchy creation? How ever will I sleep at night?
Hungry, filterless and wanting.
For a more serious take on this subject, where tongues are not firmly pressed in cheeks, take a look at what Pete Davison’s written right here.