You likely heard the news this week that Facebook is acquiring Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing app, for $1 billion.
According to DailyDealMedia, with Facebook’s IPO a month away, some were expecting the company to announce major news related to e-commerce capabilities on the social network. While an F-commerce announcement is still rumored to surface between now and the public offering, there’s much that might come out of the Instagram acquisition that could make Facebook a more robust platform for e-commerce marketing and potentially monetization. Take a look at what Instagram is bringing to the social network table:
The Instagram app is on 30 million iDevices. When it was recently made available for Android, 1 million people signed on within 12 hours. And when users share photos through Instagram, they use the filters and the app’s rich tagging system to share with family and friends. Which brings us to…
Data, Data and More Data
Embedded in these photos is a lot of information. Photographs put the consumer in a specific location at a specific time. Your images show your real interests and whether or not you have children or pets. They weave a richer story, and show the people you actually spend time with (as compared to your Facebook friends). These images and the data that comes with them can be a marketer’s dream. Marketing could be targeted to the content of your photographs.
Facebook’s current photo album functionality could be greatly improved by Instagram’s filtering and tagging abilities. If Instagram’s features are integrated into Facebook’s photos, then companies will be able to create a much more engaging visual presence for their brands.
To date, Facebook has been lacking in the mobile department – Instagram is all about mobile. It’s easier and quicker to share an image than a status post from a phone. With Instagram, that photo will be more compelling. And, Instagram’s 30 million+ users are already engaged in the mobile platform.
So does Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram have a direct e-commerce of F-commerce play? I would venture, it sure does! So far, the one social networking platform to be the quickest to monetize its clicks? Pinterest, of course.
According to this blog post on VentureBeat, Pinterest has grown from driving 1.2% of social media revenue for e-commerce websites in Q2 2011 to now being responsible for 17.4%. They’re projecting “Pinterest will be responsible for 40% of social media e-commerce transactions by end of Q2 2012, reducing Facebook’s share to slightly under 60% from 86% a year ago.” What’s even more interesting is that consumers are discovering new retail brands via Pinterest, in contrast to consumers following brands they already know on Facebook.
While we can’t be certain how Facebook will integrate with Facebook, we are definitely excited to see how it will all play out and the effects it will have on e-commerce, social commerce and multichannel retailing.
- Why You Should Get on Board with Pinterest
- 3 Key E-Commerce Trends to Watch in 2012
- There's a Lot to Like About Facebook and E-Commerce Marketing
- Facebook's Role in Social Shopping