Even though I use Facebook to distribute my blog posts to a wider readership, I have to admit that I’m kind of tired of the website. At first, it was highly addictive, but the initial fascination has since long worn off, and I would imagine that holds true for many people. So while keeping that in mind, I was reading about Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, a company that’s developed an application to make photos look like they’re from the Nixon era.
The price strikes me as high, particularly for an entity that’s dedicated to basically replicating the effects of time on what are now considered to be unstable photographic products. Remember the 1990s, when the hype surrounding the growth of the technology sector was nearing stratospheric levels, and everyone was convinced that the laws of economic gravity had no sway over the price/earnings ratios of these companies? Apparently, there’s a fair number of people who have forgotten, including Mark Zuckerberg. I can’t really blame him though, he was probably eight at the time.
The idea that one of the new titans of the internet, Facebook, is shelling out a billion dollars for a company that does one thing, and one thing only (not to mention, what their product does is of highly dubious value) is reminiscent of where we were at about 15 years ago. I find it highly ironic that while Polaroids are basically extinct, the application that mimics their visual effect is worth a billion dollars. Interesting times.