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Did Instagram Build To Sell? [INFOGRAPHIC] - Driving Traffic

Did Instagram Build To Sell? [INFOGRAPHIC]

By on April 10, 2012
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“Build to sell” is one of those high-level business concepts that TONS of entrepreneurs like to talk about… but that few actually have the discipline to follow through on.

In a typical build-to-sell scenario, a company needs to prove that its model works, remain profitable for at least 2 consecutive quarters, and show the potential for long-term sustainability…

HOWEVER, that’s not the only way entrepreneurs can build to sell.

The other way is to innovate and grow at such a rapid pace, that you actually become a threat to your much larger, more established rivals. Especially at a time when they’re willing do nearly anything to look good. Like when they’re about to launch a historic IPO, for instance.

If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.

That appears to be the driving force behind Facebook’s bid to acquire Instagram for $1B.

I guess that answers the question that my team at Digital Marketer posed last week, “How Would YOU Monetize Instagram?” As usual, the simplest answer was once again the best: SELL IT.

That takes some of the guesswork out of it, now doesn’t it?

Frankly, I’m a little surprised that Instagram was willing to sell. It seemed like they were following the Facebook model, living off of VC money and building out until they could launch an IPO… or even sell out for some MASSIVE sum like, say, ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

In Instagram’s case, only 2 years after launch, I guess $1B was an offer they couldn’t refuse… Honestly, it’s hard to imagine getting a better ROI, even with 2 more years of building the model.

Why Facebook and Instagram May Be a Good Fit

Not only has Instagram benefited from it’s longtime integration into FB, Zuckerberg’s advertising model may be the only one that could monetize Instagram without ruining the experience for users.

Facebook’s extremely targeted and unobtrusive ads are a natural fit with Instagram. It’s hard to imagine a less annoying revenue model than seamless display ads, maybe even beautiful photography, from brands that are relevant to your interests.

It’s clear that Instagram is incredibly fun, useful, and most importantly — addictive. As you can see from the graphic below, the explosive success of this photo-app isn’t limited to North America, or even Europe. That definitely creates a lot of value…

The real question is: Is a billion dollars too much or too little?

About Ryan Deiss

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