Instagram CEO sidesteps Twitter for Facebook
Recent reports have surfaced online that just a few weeks before Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom accepted a staggering $1 billion (618.3 million pounds) buyout offer from Facebook Inc, Systrom had already verbally agreed to a $525 million offer from micro blogging platform Twitter.
This shocking revelation has only recently surfaced, just a few short months after Facebook’s acquisition of the massively popular image sharing app. As you can imagine, Twitter executives were left stunned that potential business partner Systrom went ahead with the Facebook agreement without giving Twitter a proper opportunity to compose a suitable counteroffer.
Despite this claim from Twitter, Systrom later told California state regulators under oath that his business had not accepted or received any "formal offers or term sheets" from possible buyers other than Facebook, nonetheless other reports suggest different and claims that Twitter executives had given Systrom a term sheet outlining the particulars of a planned deal between the two.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg eventually acquired Instagram after pushing through a deal just weeks before Facebook's May initial public offering. The deal was done in September at an astronomical $715 million valuation, a huge price considering Instagram’s extremely humble business setup.
Unsurprisingly the feelings between Twitter and Instagram have soured significantly as Facebook effectively swooped in on the photo service app. The feelings in question are seemingly beyond repair, as both Twitter and Instagram have taken new aggressive actions towards one another. At the start of December, Instagram took the first step by completely turning off a functionality that enabled Twitter to show Instagram pictures, while Twitter retaliated by introducing its own photo colour-filters to compete with Facbook’s new toy, Instagram.
The newly acquired Instagram has today however sparked outcry as it has said it has the everlasting right to sell users' photographs with no payment or notification, a spectacular policy change that rapidly sparked a public protest.
The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users remove their accounts earlier than the January deadline, they cannot opt out.
It appears that Facebook is the big winner in this whole debacle, as they have systematically pinched Instagram from right under their competitor’s nose and turned the two former potential business partners against one another. Whether this was intentional or not remains to be seen, however at present Facebook has another feature to add to its extensive catalogue, whilst Twitter has been left out in the cold.
There's also been a massive overhaul of instagrams terms of service now stating that instagram will share all user info with facebook (regardless of whether you use facebook or not) and also say that your names, pictures and likeness may be used in adverts on both instagram and facebook and the only way to opt out is to Delete your instagram account.