Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Facebook + Instagram and What it Means for CPG Marketers

Chances are, if you’re mobile savvy, own an iPhone or Android device and like to take photos, you’ve probably downloaded Instagram.
As of March, this mobile app had more than 25 million users. Its Android launch in April prompted more than 1 million downloads in the first 24 hours. There’s no doubt that the app appeals to users who enjoy sharing photos after on-the-fly application of certain filters such as a warm glow, soft lighting and being slightly out of focus.

Facebook, a platform widely used for sharing photos, had been toying with the idea of creating their own photo filters to take on Instagram directly, but with the already massive following and technology in place, they chose to acquire the company instead.
There are several interpretations of the purchase. One being that the sky-high price paid in the deal shows that Facebook wants to continue to own social as new networks explode, such as Pinterest.  Another viewpoint is that Facebook is trying to make its mobile platform as robust as possible before the company begins to seriously deliver ads on it.
Regardless of which viewpoint is true, Instagram will continue to operate as a separate platform and users will still have the ability to share their content on other social networks. Facebook’s current goal is to help spread the app and brand that so many consumers know and love to even more people.
But what does this mean for marketers? What can we do to take advantage of the technologies available and what should we look for in the future due to this merger?
First and foremost, we’ve all heard it before, but the first thing brands should do is get on board. Brands that have established a social presence on Facebook and Twitter and share photos regularly should create an Instagram account. Not only will this provide another touchpoint for brands to reach consumers where they already want to be, but also the publicity Instagram is receiving lately due to their purchase will drive consumers to get connected if they aren’t already.
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