After spending a few hours talking to Facebookers about the company’s mobile strategy, I can safely say that Instagram’s move to Android probably had a lot to do with the $1 billion price the startup fetched in this morning’s acquisition news.
In case you’ve spent your morning under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his company’s acquisition of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service.
What he didn’t announce, but what VentureBeat knows from multiple Facebook conversations and campus visits, is that the company sees iOS as just one piece of the mobile platform puzzle. And while the company has acquired iOS apps in the past, none have had the global reach of Instagram.
Instagram recently opened its doors to Android users. Previously just an iOS app, the photo social network had collected 30 million users. However, that one platform only accounts for half the total smartphone market, give or take. In moving over to the Android platform, Instagram showed that it cared about acquiring the other half of smartphone users, as well.