Two of the largest social media acquisitions to date have rocked the industry in one single day. In a surprising move, Facebook has announced it is buying photo-sharing mobile application Instagram for $1 billion. And while everyone from Silicon Valley to Wall Street to the Twitterverse started to react, it was known that social network game developer Zynga is also acquiring popular OMGPOP, the creators of “Draw Something,” for $200 million.
Instagram, the wildly popular application famous for its Polaroid-like filters, had already faced some backlash with the launch of its anticipated Android version, with iPhone Instagrammers using the Twitter hashtag #TeamiPhone to express disappointment at the iOS platform’s loss of exclusivity to distribute and use Instagram.
But the “Insta-Backlash” reached fever pitch when it was known that Facebook was acquiring the photo-application for $1 billion, with Instagram users pledging to delete their accounts in protest, and third party photo applications such as Instaport, Copygram, and Instagrid offering to transfer, host, and preserve the Instagram libraries of users who wish to cancel their Instagram accounts.
In the meantime, Zynga’s $200 million acquisition of OMGPOP, which has been downloaded 50 million times in the 50 days since its launch, reinforces concerns about extreme consolidation in a still young social media industry, with a small group of big and well funded companies such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook dominating the field by acquiring smaller potential competitors in order to control a much larger pool of users to mine information from and target with sophisticatedly tailored advertising.