In the hours following Facebook's announcement of its $1 billion acquisition of photo sharing app Instagram, some segments of the Internet reacted with extreme emotions, but the one that really stands out is all the hate.
Immediately after the news hit the Web, tweeters, catalogued by Buzzfeed's Katie Notopoulos, spewed disgust, claiming app ruin and calling on others to delete Instagram. Since then, the backlash has built, with blog posts catering to these haters, explaining Instagram alternatives and how to quit but still save pics, among the some deep philosophical musings and breakups with the app.This hashgram of "Facebook" pretty much sums up the hatred with posts like the one to the right.
This seems like an overreaction, but it's not entirely unexpected. When Facebook announced its own set of photo filters last August, we saw similar snobbery. "Facebook, having stolen MySpace's chair, is the paragon of poor taste. Its users are a globby nebula of tackiness, low brows, and perhaps above all, horrible photos... And there's no more irritating place to superfluously alter photos than this kind of mundane shit pit," wrote Gizmodo's Sam Biddle in August 2011. Others shared his disgust, mentioning things like photo filter fatigue and Facebook taking away the beautiful simplicity of Instagram's social network, which is only photos. (Though less intense, Instagram for iPhone users got a little huffy when the app had its Android roll out last week.)
Facebook never crushed Instagram, choosing instead to buy up its very popular competitor. And we see that same snobbery from a few months ago. Twitter delivers lots of Tweets threatening app deletion. Instagram loyalists can't stand the popularization or Facebookification of the app. We suspect it has something to do with tearing down the gated Instagram community, opening up artsy filtered photo sharing to those not hip enough to own smartphones, or something. Or maybe we're just seeing the usual rash emotions that accompany any move Facebook ever makes.
The Instagram creators may have pissed off their loyal (and growing) following, but we bet they aren't too sad this morning. Many believe Facebook overpaid for the free app. The CEO Kevin Systrom made $40 million off the deal, reports Epicenter's Mike Isaac. That leaves a nice chunk for the other founder, Mike Krieger, 18 employees and investors, too. We suspect Facebook doesn't care much about the complaints, either. They're used to that sort of thing. And, if it's like any other Facebook (over)reaction, the chatter will calm down eventually.