Facebook Camera App: This Is Why Instagram was Worth $1 Billion
Instagram’s jaw-dropping $1 billion price tag became a lot more understandable on Thursday with the release of Facebook Camera for iOS.
The app — which was in development before the social network made its offer to buy Instagram about six weeks ago — gives us a glimpse at how Facebook was planning to compete against the young mobile-first startup.
It also showcases just how important Instagram is to Facebook’s future.
Instagram’s Success Was Not a Fluke
When Facebook purchased Instagram back in April, I believed the service was worth every penny (even while pleading with Facebook not to ruin the Instagram experience).
After the release of Facebook Camera, I’m even more convinced that Instagram could be Facebook’s YouTube — in other words, an acquisition that becomes monumentally important to it future, and helps it solve a problem it couldn’t solve on its own (like Google Video before Google bought YouTube.)
Facebook Camera isn’t a bad application — it just isn’t good enough to compete with Instagram. After installing Facebook Camera [iTunes link] and using it for a few minutes, I couldn’t help but think “Facebook was going to fight Instagram with this ?”
Elements of the user interface are reminiscent of Path, the last iteration of Gowalla (before it’s founders left for Facebook and the app was shutdown) and even the latest Google+iPhone update. It’s not unattractive. ...