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How Instagram hides behind Facebook – and rakes in billions

By the Guardian

Instagram’s parent company faces international scrutiny while the photo app retains its charming reputationRead full story

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  • Great weekend read. This article has so many OMG points it’s hard to pull one out as a preview but here goes a big shocker: “Instagram feed consistently reveals one paid post for every four organic posts. Few people, however, realize that 20% of the content they consume on Instagram (or Facebook, for that matter) is sponsored.’ The piece goes on to point out a long list of facts little known in the mainstream- including the very fact that the majority of people aren’t really aware that Facebook even OWNS instagram.

  • Hopefully $FB will not start making destructive decisions around #Instagram and #WhatsApp as analysts put pressure on the parent to make up for lost engagement and growth in the core business.

  • Like Twitter, Instagram’s default is for everything you post to be public. I think most people take this into consideration when they post. Facebook has always been the exact opposite - the default was supposed to be private/among friends, so people posted more openly. As we’ve learned over the years how wrong we were, and how purposefully deceptive FB was, the more justifiably angry we’ve become. Of course, the ultimate deception by FB was buying Instagram and WhatsApp and surveilling us non-stop

    Like Twitter, Instagram’s default is for everything you post to be public. I think most people take this into consideration when they post. Facebook has always been the exact opposite - the default was supposed to be private/among friends, so people posted more openly. As we’ve learned over the years how wrong we were, and how purposefully deceptive FB was, the more justifiably angry we’ve become. Of course, the ultimate deception by FB was buying Instagram and WhatsApp and surveilling us non-stop across the products while maintaining the separate brands. Just plain wrong.

  • Luis D Contreras
    Luis D ContrerasManager at Strategy&

    Gary Vaynerchuck said it first: Facebook’s Instagram acquisition was a steal.

    Let’s stop playing the victims here and start talking about the unprecedented business opportunities that these two platforms offer to small business owners. Consider how much attention these feeds have from people today and how many eyeballs you could be reaching if you were looking at a glass half full, instead of the other way around.

    Today, this is CHEAP advertising for engagement rates of over 10% (or much more

    Gary Vaynerchuck said it first: Facebook’s Instagram acquisition was a steal.

    Let’s stop playing the victims here and start talking about the unprecedented business opportunities that these two platforms offer to small business owners. Consider how much attention these feeds have from people today and how many eyeballs you could be reaching if you were looking at a glass half full, instead of the other way around.

    Today, this is CHEAP advertising for engagement rates of over 10% (or much more if you get good at it) on a marketplace-type platform (that is, you can spend from $1 dollar if you want to).

    Most SMB’s can’t even pay for local TV ads, for attention on a screen nobody watches anymore.

  • Instagram’s ability to pretend it’s not Facebook probably won’t last forever. Maybe Snapchat should start copying the best parts of Instagram, and then launch PR campaigns about how it’s one and the same as Facebook / just a prettier Facebook.

    Basically take a hint from Facebook’s playbook. But maybe they shouldn’t steep to Facebook’s level?

  • Victor Anthony
    Victor AnthonyInternet Equity Analyst at Aegis Capital

    As I read this I kept thinking is Zuck doing the same with WhatsApp - 1B DAUs.

  • Michael Andrews
    Michael AndrewsFounder & CEO at MPA Global

    I have been wrestling over the issues facing Facebook and by association Instagram and WhatsApp. I have been troubled by the seeming lack of concern early on, then the minimalistic moves to solve arising problems but no clear effort to do a,total review of user information security, fake ads and news. I do not believe the leadership of Facebook has faced up to the serious issues. If they continue to do patchwork efforts with each arising problem (scandal) then they leadership is in danger of destroying

    I have been wrestling over the issues facing Facebook and by association Instagram and WhatsApp. I have been troubled by the seeming lack of concern early on, then the minimalistic moves to solve arising problems but no clear effort to do a,total review of user information security, fake ads and news. I do not believe the leadership of Facebook has faced up to the serious issues. If they continue to do patchwork efforts with each arising problem (scandal) then they leadership is in danger of destroying a great firm with and interesting product and the wealth of investors. I would urge Facebook to undertake a deep serious review of the weaknesses of security and set out a plan 2 or 3 years to develop programs that protect users information and limit fake stories. I believe the most senior people are talented enough to develop a better Facebook but the question are they humble enough to admit mistakes and hear concerns of users. I hope so since they move us into a brave new world the should be strong enough to insure better controls of information.

  • Helen Edwards
    Helen EdwardsAlways curious at Koru Ventures

    Not knowing Instagram is owned by Facebook is like not knowing Obamacare is also the affordable care act.

  • Remember when the cool thing to say was, “Facebook overpaid for Instagram?”

  • interesting economics

  • The challenge here is that social media, and very much “the gram” and Facebook are very good at delivering ads to highly targeted group at very low cost and allowing for quick iteration/testing. We also have our innate human wish to connect behind giving them all the data to do that. I’d love to see a more benevolent indie social media company emerge but as of yet the efforts have not gotten the reach. In the meantime we can use the tools we have towards creating positive change as much as possible.

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