What makes an 18 month old, free mobile App, worth $1 Billion? Is the App space a new dot comm bubble? Who is doing well using Social Media for customer service? Some answers and a great conversation with Adam Stirling on CFAX 1070.
Instagram was bought by Facebook for $1 billion. Plenty of reasons why this might be a good deal for the Social media giant. First, Facebook has become a far more visuallly oriented platform with the recent introduction of Timeline for both individual profiles and pages. Users are now uploading more photos and graphics than ever before, mainly to gain attention in a crowded space. Instagram’s users fit that profile – a reason to grab that 30-40 million share of the market.
Facebook has also indicated Instagram will remain a stand alone product, and for good reason: advertising. Mobile screen real estate is tiny compared to desktop monitors, and Facebook wants to own the market. By keeping Instagram an open product, those ads can be shared across other social media platforms, like Twitter.
Is it worth $1 Billion? That remains to be seen. Apple, Facebook, Google and others are awash with cash, and seeking to out bid each other for App and mobile share. Look for others to be on the buying block in the near future.
Social Media and Customer Service: Not so long ago BC Ferries was being blasted for having a Twitter account, and not really using it. Times change quickly with a dedicated team online, using social media to post route and service updates, links to answers on parking and fares, weather warnings and, responding directly to questions. Other local, regional companies doing well using Twitter are SHAW, providing quick service requests to customers, Drive BC, highway and road information, and BC Hydro, with responses to power outages. There are plenty more, so if you can add to the list leave a comment on this blog – I’d love to hear of more!
We wrapped up with a question: if companies are raising their profile, and using social media for customer service, where are our local and regional governments? Portland Oregon, and many other cities, are implementing Apps and online engagement tools to do everything from reporting potholes and graffiti, to showing real time updates on garbage collection routes and road repairs. The online, mobile connected, App happy audience is out there – time for our local governments to join the party.