Instagram Backlash: Facebook Purchase, Android Release Anger Early Adopters
By Michael Nunez | April 10, 2012 8:30 AM EST
For most of its 18 months in existence, Instagram has been one of the most popular photo-sharing apps available in the Apple App Store, but in the past week, Instagram has become the latest hipster-born trend to have "jumped the shark," as many Instagram-using youth would say.
In response to the release of Instagram for Android and Facebook's billion-dollar purchase of the company, some of Instagram's earliest users have revolted against the company. Many have even vowed to delete their Instagram accounts in response to the recent expansion of the software.
The Instagram backlash -- which began as insidious class warfare between Android and Apple users -- quickly grew larger than anyone would have expected. The anti-Instagram movement was documented thoroughly by Katie Notopoulos at Buzzfeed in a collection of tweets titled, "iPhone Users Disgusted by Android Instagram." Roughly 40 tweets were embedded into her collection in which Twitter users were saying little more than "yuck" and "eww" in response to Instagram's release on Android. Several specifically asked Android users not to follow them on Instagram. "If you are on an #Android - please don't follow me on #instagram #thankyou," said several tweets.
Instagram went from a gated community to section 8 all in 1 day
— Joel (@joelby1328) April 4, 2012
"When I first saw that string of complaints by Apple-loving Instagram users on BuzzFeed, I thought it might be a prank or a parody," said Dan Lyons, writer at The Daily Beast. "I thought it was someone making fun of the kind of people who use Instagram. But apparently not. The story has been picked up all over the place, like by CNET and CNN, with journalists wringing their hands over the 'class warfare' between Apple and Android."
In a similar fashion, when Facebook's purchase of Instagram was announced Monday, many fans took to Twitter to voice their outrage. TechCrunch reporter Sarah Perez, who was one of the first to report on the trend, described the backlash as a bunch of Instagram users "tweeting about their intentions to delete their ... accounts now that Facebook has tainted their trendy social network with its massive data-grabbing paws."
In another elaborate chain of Twitter updates, Perez collected and organized roughly 20 tweets of those who were frustrated with Facebook encroaching on their beloved photo-sharing social network. "This is why we can't have nice things. #instagram #facebook," tweeted one user. Another added, "Obligatory tweet about Fb's acquisition of Instagram causing surges of pseudo-intellectual trendsetters to delete their accounts."
Facebook buys Instagram for $1B. Don't want Facebook to have even more of your data? Delete your Instagram account: instagram.com/accounts/remov… — Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) April 9, 2012
Despite the small pockets of disgruntled fans, Instagram has in all likelihood opened itself to hundreds of millions more users. The number of Android users -- currently more than 300 million -- could boost Instagram's user base significantly. Prior to the Android release of the app, Instagram had 30 million users uploading more than 5 million photos daily, according to a New York Times article. Instagram racked up more than 1 million downloads in less than 24 hours upon its Android release.
In addition to having access to the most used mobile operating system in the U.S. and all its users, Instagram will have access to the world's largest social network and all of the money it will soon raise in the public market. With Facebook rumored to be aiming for $100 billion valuation after its IPO, it's going to be tough to slow down Instagram anytime soon.
For those that have already left the photo-sharing service -- bon voyage!
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