• Instagram is making a gradual evolution, going from being a simple photo album to wanting to phagocyte younger companies like Snapchat or Periscope .
  • Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram in 2012 for 750 million, but it has been in recent months when it has begun its transformation.

Mark Zuckerberg does not believe in “if you cannot with them, join them”. The creator of Facebook is guided by the axiom of: if you cannot with them, buy your company. Since the birth of the social network, in 2004, it has managed to amass 1.8 billion users.

The two most ambitious purchases of Facebook have been WhatsApp, in 2014 for 20,000 million euros, and Instagram, in 2012 for 700 million euros – although initially there were 1,000. But they are also part of the Facebook matrix ambitious projects like the Oculus virtual reality glasses and the application of Masquerade filters, similar to Snapchat.


When the purchase of Instagram materialized, Facebook announced that the goal was “to build and expand Instagram independently “. It is “the first time we have acquired a product and a company with so many users” and “We do not plan to do it many more times, if we do another,” they said. Although two years later they did with the WhatsApp messaging service, which has 1,000 million users.

Instagram was born in 2010 as a smartphone application that allowed you to trick photos with filters and share them on other pages like Twitter or Tumblr . At that time a dozen people worked on the project and had 30 million downloads. The valuation of the company was 500 million. So, Facebook was willing to pay more than its value to get a company that offered only upload photos, a simple online album.

The transformation of Instagram

In 2012, Instagram was not even two years old. But I had something that Facebook was interested in: young users. One of the problems facing Zuckerberg is the advent of new social networks that capture what young people want and monopolize that market share.

Facebook has a very broad public profile, which explains that it is the social network with more users. But it is also encorsetada in its forms of communication: the wall, photos and labels. This prevents the younger ones from being attracted, even if they add direct or chats. Millenials or younger users are looking for other ways to share their life.

Facebook cannot make a radical change to its format. But it can buy companies with benefits, promising future and possess diametrically opposed characteristics, able to cajole the young, the same who in the future will spend hours on the Internet.

Since the year of purchase, the increase in users on Instagram has skyrocketed. According to Kantar TNS, in 2014 the number of users in Spain increased by 32%, in 2015 by 38% and by 2016 by 53% . It already surpasses the 500 million users in the world, reason why it’s mass of public is superior to the one of Twitter that counts about 300 million subscribers.

Instagram against Snapchat

Just a few days ago Instagram incorporated the live videos. And just a few months ago added Instagram Stories, which allows you to edit and broadcast videos and photos for a limited period of time.

The Zuckerberg subsidiary has decided to launch a crackdown on its direct rivals: social networks that attract young audiences. Maybe if they had let go and they’d let it buy via Facebook they would not have Instagram as their rival.

Periscope, the social network of live videos, is owned by Twitter, which seeks to enhance the live. Meanwhile, Snapchat remains independent and even rejected an offer of 3 billion Facebook and another of 4,000 Google.

The potential of Instagram, and its ability to capture what young people want, has already claimed a victim: Vine. The looped videos were one of the first updates that Instagram incorporated, which has ended up signifying the closure of Vine. Although the company, owned by Twitter, was a pioneer in this area that the best known viners abandoned the social network to Instagram was the lace.

Now it will be Snapchat, which plans to go public in 2017 , which will have to deal with Instagram. At the moment it is soon to calculate the impact of Instagram Stories, but many users are now at the crossroads of choosing a social network or another. But knowing that Instagram increasingly offers more and more advantages may end up phagocytizing the rest of rivals. WhatsApp also decided to incorporate photo editing. Mark Zuckerberg, spiteful, seems determined to strike Snapchat.

From the album to the live

What began as a photo album, whether public or private, has ended up extending its tentacles and acquiring the main characteristics of its rivals. In a market such as social networks, there seems to be less space for free competition. Prima supremacy and oligopoly, as Facebook and Google demonstrate to the companies in the sector. Because Twitter heard Google’s offers a few weeks ago although the operation did not fructify.

Instagram has already copied the characteristics of its rivals, but has shown very little initiative. All his updates have emerged from the ideas of others. Even so, having more followers than their rivals and, most importantly, the stars of the celluloid and the playing fields in their squad is their strong point.

Snapchat and Periscope are facing a struggle for innovation. If they have managed to appear as enemies on the radar of Zuckerberg is because he is aware of the potential of both. But their owners may not be able to hit the key that hits Instagram expectations.

Evan Spiegel, founder of Snapchat, Rejected an offer of 3,000 million that in a few years can be cause for repentance or headbutting against the wall. Recall that a giant like Yahoo ended up accepting a 4.8 billion Verizon offer. Years before it came to be worth 125,000 million and is that on the Internet nothing is forever.