Why Facebook Really Bought Instagram

The purchase of Instagram by Facebook is classic forward thinking – strategically preparing for where business is going.

Instagram is a photo sharing application that also allows for creative enhancement of photos via a few clicks on your mobile device.

Facebook isn’t buying technology – they are extending their reach into new communities on a platform that is actively engaged around the one element that has been responsible for the phenomenal growth of Facebook – photo sharing.

More specifically, Instagram has nailed the sweet spot of photo sharing – the intersection of mobile and social.

That intersection is not only where users are engaging with Facebook and Instagram, but also where customers are accessing businesses like yours online, especially local businesses.

Why Businesses Should Get Serious About Photos

The challenge for any business or social network like Facebook is building and maintaining the attention of their customers or users.

More than ever, you are in the attention business – and engaging photos that command attention give you exactly that. 

One of the primary reasons Facebook has such a commanding lead over its competitors is they are the largest photo sharing site on the web. Of course, competitors such as Google+ are also creatively using photos to make profiles more engaging.

This is precisely why Facebook countered their efforts with the now infamous Timeline. You love it when it works, but hate it because its prominence on your Facebook profile or page demands a high quality visual image.

Thus, you now have to get serious about building an inventory of quality images that speak to the value your business provides.

Photos Enhance Awareness and Attention

When I was in college we didn’t have digital technology – photos were taken with film. The process of producing quality images required time to have the film developed, and the monetary cost associated with it. As you can imagine, photos were taken with care – just like a professional.

As a result of these challenges, one of my landscape architecture professors suggested we first photograph our sites without using any film, for the sole purpose of enhancing our awareness and perception of what matters.

When you carefully frame a photo you instantly become more aware of both your general surroundings and the specific elements within it.

Not surprisingly, after simply framing dozens of photos I could easily sketch the entire site in surprising detail in a matter of minutes – without even looking at it. It is an amazingly powerful exercise!

Taking photos tunes you into your world and helps you to capture what you may have otherwise missed. It’s an exercise in study, patience, and attention.

Have you noticed your photos don’t always capture what you believe you experienced? That’s the power of Instagram – it allows you to layer in those magical nuances that are very real in your imagination.

Facebook wants your attention.

You want the attention of your prospects and customers.

Take more photos – good ones.

Leave a comment below and share this with your community using any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.

Until next time, Jeff

Photo Credit: Arty Smokes
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  1. Mike Gingerich says:

    Good post Jeff! I agree that FB was thinking forward and that pics + mobile is important going forward, as are pics in general.

    Timeline for Pages is massively visually oriented and brands doing Timeline well are doing images well!

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Mike – Anyone could see this coming – and it sure isn’t going to let up anytime soon. I need to either fix my Nikon or get a new camera!

      Although the one on my new iPad actually works well.