Two very large events happened in the social media world yesterday: Instagram added video and the acquisition of Tumblr to Yahoo was finalized.
First, let’s start with Instagram. If you recall, last year Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars in hope to create a larger empire (and in my opinion, corner the photo-taking social media market). In the blog post that I wrote last year about the acquisition, I lamented that perhaps Instagram would lose it’s creative direction that it had from the independent owners. However, about 14 months later, not only has it stayed pretty much the same, but has now taken over ANOTHER social media market: video sharing. Yes, YouTube is the king of all video sharing, but until Vine (6-second loop video sharing) came along in January, there was nothing like it. With Instagram introducing video yesterday, the game has changed AGAIN. Vine allows the user to create stop-motion videos with the touch of your finger; but, it is a little bit buggy and lags more often than not. Instagram video is not only stop motion, but is 15 seconds and comes with NEW FILTERS. If that isn’t enough to make Instagrammers happy, I don’t know what is. It seems like most people are ditching Vine and heading to Instagram, where they have a longer time-frame to create videos and more importantly, already have the followers.
Another piece of tech/social media news from yesterday was the finalization of the Yahoo-Tumblr acquisition for 1.1 billion dollars, which was announced at the end of May. This is a quote from a Yahoo press release:
“Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators,” says Yahoo in the release.
As a Tumblr user myself, I see the posts about the merger all the time, and people who are die-hard Tumblr fans are not happy about the news. In fact, since the announcement of the finalization of the merger, a few staff members of Tumblr have decided to leave the company. Tumblr users are afraid that Yahoo will make Tumblr more mainstream, and therefore destroying the delicate balance of acceptance that is Tumblr posts: most feel that they are safe in their Tumblr space and can say anything and still be accepted by the Tumblr community, there is a possibility that the acquisition will turn Tumblr into an advertising platform for Yahoo. However, there is still another possibility that none of this will happen. As I stated previously, in the case of Instagram not much happened over the past year since Instagram sold to Facebook – it just got better.
As I reflected on the Facebook-Instagram buy-out one year ago, I will have to come back and reflect on these as well. There is a good chance that Instagram will cut-out Vine from the social media world, and that Tumblr will remain the sanctuary that is is for so many people.
With that, I’m sure you all know what I’m going to do tonight: watch Vines from people lamenting about Instagram video addition (#TeamVine, although I am not sure which team I’m on yet) and enjoy Tumblr before there are ads on my dashboard!