Facebook could be forgiven if its IPO filing made it feel as if it was falling just a bit behind the times. Its users were going mobile and they were taking Facebook with them only grudgingly. The Facebook mobile apps were regarded as mediocre and Facebook admitted that it didn't really have a plan yet to monetize its mobile base. This week they bought their way into mobile coolness with their purchase of Instagram, a mobile photo sharing service so good that it was building its own social network that probably worried Facebook. While most Instagram users undoubtedly had Facebook accounts only 20% were linking the two accounts. Not since Google's purchase of YouTube in 2006 had an internet giant invested so heavily in buying the default app for one of the internet's most popular activities.
Most of the blogs liked the deal but saw some serious challenges. Business Insider listed 5 ways that Facebook could monetize Instagram by taking advantage of Instagram's appeal to brands and its potential for local marketing. ReadWriteWeb published '5 Things the Experts Say You Need to Know' about Facebook's move into user created content and the visual web that Pinterest has exemplified this year.
One thing is clear -- for many people Facebook has moved into 'evil empire' territory. GigaOm listed several Instagram competitors that may now benefit from their independent status and Gizmodo was the first to publish instructions for backing up your Instagram photos before 'Facebook ruins everything'.