(Almost) All The Answers Surrounding Facebook-Instagram Deal

Instagram Founding Fathers

Instagram Founding Fathers Kevin Systrom (Right) and Mike Krieger (Left)

The tech industry (and probably few more hundreds million people) is still trying to recover and to process the surprising (even shocking) acquisition of Instagram by Facebook yesterday, first announced by Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook account. But after the initial digestion of this giant deal, many questions are still left out in the open.

For some of those questions the answers are already available on different places online, for some of those questions the answers only known to a small group of individuals “familiar with the matter” (as writers likes to write) and for some of those questions there aren’t any answers at all (at least not yet).

In this post I will try to do my best and provide as much answers as possible whether if its through public facts, web research or even if it will be just my personal humble assumptions surrounding this whole Facebook-Instagram amazing deal.

Price. Instagram’s acquisition worth about $1 billion involving a combination of cash and Facebook’s shares.

Prominent shareholders profit. According to Wired, Instagram’s CEO and co-founder, Kevin Systrom, owns about 40% of the company (after investors dilution through time) which means he that his bank account now showing a balance of $400 million. The co-founder Mike Krieger which owns 10% will take $100 million. Benchmark Capital has 18% and will take $180 million, the investment firms Andreessen Horowitz and Baseline Venture has 10% each and will take $100 million separately.

100% profit in 24 hours. TechCrunch is reporting that just one day before the acquisition Instagram raised $50 million by a $500 million valuation. Meaning that Sequoia, Thrive Capital, Greylock and Benchmark have doubled their investment within one day. Nice 24 hours run.

Road to glory. Instagram was launched on September 2010, by December 2010 it already had one million users, by September 2011 it climb to 10 million users and on March 2012 it officially reached for 27 million users. Oh, and all that when it was available just for iOS users.

Competition. The acquisition may reflect Facebook’s fears that Instagram would eventually be a real threat to Facebook’s own photo features. To eliminate the threat, Facebook did what commonly happens in the tech and business worlds- Buying the threat.

Independence. As both Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom have mentioned, Instagram planned to stay an independent standalone brand. The comparison is unavoidable- It appears (at least for now) that Facebook plans to do with Instagram what Google did with YouTube.

Users. Kevin Systrom said month and a half ago that the service has 27 million users and couple of weeks later Instagram became available for Android devices which lead to a million downloads in less than a day. Although there are some wild 50 million users estimations out there, the real number is probably somewhere in between 30 to 35 million users.

Worth per user. Facebook basically valued every Instagram user at about $28.6 each (by a 35 million users estimation). Just for comparison, each Facebook user is worth about $111 (by a company’s worth of $100 billion and 900 million users).

Users leaving? There are some stories online “reporting” that “many” users are “leaving” Instagram after the acquisition. At this point in time, these are probably just BS stories that intends to attract some more pageviews “basing” their “reports” on a few non-representing Tweets.

Visits. Experian Hitwise has Tweeted yesterday that Instagram had in March more than 10 million visits just from the U.S. ranking the service as the third most popular photo site (behind Pinterest and Flickr). That represent more than 1000 percent rise since December 2011.

Instagram revenue. $0 (the company has yet to monetize its platform).

Coding. Kevin Systrom revealed in Quora that he developed Instagram in just 8 weeks without any formal coding training. He learned how to program and to code by himself at nights when he worked at Nextstop. The word “inspiring” pops into my head.

Photos. The deal has highlighted how crucial and vital part of social networking is a quality photo-sharing service can be.

Google. Now that Facebook holds Instagram, interesting to see if Google will suck it’s pride and buy Pinterest for amounts that goes way north of $1 billion (maybe even north of $2 billion) as rumored in the past.

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