In a bit of surprising news, it appears that Instagram is intending to add private messaging. Apparently this is Facebook (Facebook owns Instagram, of course) attempting to offer serious competition to SnapChat, the instant messaging app that teens just adore. Snapchat spurned an incredible $3 Billion offer from Facebook for its app, and also spurned an even bigger offer from Google of $4 Billion.
It’s not a huge shock that Facebook would want Snapchat for its own; teenagers are abandoning Facebook in droves often apparently only having shell profiles they establish simply to appease their parents because, after all, it’s a social media service that is no longer cool. Like, their teachers and parents and even their grandparents are on Facebook, OMG!
Instagram suffers from no such problem. It’s still one of the hottest photo sharing sites out there, with over 200 million users and more joining every day particularly with the release of Instagram for Windows phones.
But will Instagram be able to lure all those teen users away from Snapchat by offering private messaging? It’s hard to say. It’s also curious that Snapchat is being wooed with some astronomical amounts of money, and turning it down; after all, the service is making zero money at this juncture. What do they know that we don’t?
Overall, it’s hard to know what’s going to be the next hot thing in social media. I remember back in 2006-2007 when many folks were saying that Twitter was a flash in the pan, and Plurk was the microblogging network that would last. Yeah. When was the last time anyone used Plurk? Do you even remember Plurk?
Snapchat is taking an awfully big gamble by turning down these huge volumes of cash. I know I’ve said it before, but I keep thinking about Digg turning down that $500 million offer from Google and later selling for a mere $500,000. Yikes.