In comparison to its Android version, Instagram’s iPhone app was a slow burner. On iOS, it took Instagram around six months to reach 5 million users, while on Android it took just six days, according to the Google Play stats, which show Instagram for Android has between 5 million and 10 million downloads already. On its first day, Instagram for Android had 1 million downloads, while the iOS version now clocks more than 30 million users.
So why the fascination with Instagram? It’s not like Instagram is offering something that other iOS and Android photo apps don’t do. My colleagues found nine great Android alternatives to Instagram and many other options for iPhone users.
But Facebook saw potential in Instagram. The social networking giant announced that it will acquire Instagram for roughly $1 billion in cash and stock. Although it said Instagram would remain independent for the time being, it’s still unclear what Facebook wants to do with its purchase.
Why Did Facebook Buy Instagram?
Last year reports indicated that Facebook was looking into bringing Instagram-like photo filters to its mobile app, or perhaps a stand-alone app that would have similar functionality. By buying Instagram, it looks more likely now that Facebook will integrate the photo filters to its own mobile app.
Dan Frommer opines though that by acquiring Instagram, Facebook overcame one its biggest threats, a mobile-only, mobile-first social network based on blurry photos. Om Malik also advances this theory, saying Instagram found and attacked Facebook’s weakness, mobile photo sharing, and Facebook was scared because the social network is essentially about photos.