Everyone is quickly upgrading to the new Instagram release that hit iOS and Android today. While some think it is a just a UI refresh with new features, I see it for far more with longer term benefits to Facebook.
You are probably already publishing your Instagram pictures to Facebook, which they immediately turn into an album. I have read numerous articles and heard many podcasters say that your friends on Instagram are the same as Facebook, so why did they buy them. This is incredibly false. Facebook launched the Subscribe model to compete with Twitter and have you making public postings mixed with private.
Instagram has outreached any idea Facebook had with subscriptions. Normal everyday people are reaching numbers greater than celebrities. I constantly see tens of thousands of followers for some. Then there is the S4S movement in Instagram. The Shout 4 Shout idea lets people with higher number grab a screen capture of another person, post that pic with the tag #mustfollow. This gets that person more followers and the cycle continues. Facebook cannot match this growth in photo taking. So with pending full integration Facebook gets more eyes on ads by forcing a subscription or merger of the followers.
Today the updates include geotagging which is a cornerstone of maps inside Facebook. You can already put your location in photos and posts, but they are having limited success. But we happily put them on Instagram. So today Instagram took your locations and provided the option (preselected yes) to create a photo map. They even read the geolocation information from non location tagged photos and offered to place those. Many were shocked.
This moves Facebook ahead when Instagram is integrated tighter with Facebook. They will have more mapping data, geolocation and a stronger photo presence. Then think about the Instagram subscribers that each person has. They will have the option to link their account (if they haven’t) and become your Facebook subscriber instead. Privacy controls inside Facebook now for albums generally restrict them to your closer friends. Instagram albums will have the option to always be public, subscription and approval or Facebook friends only.
Tie this in with the recent news (via Ars Technica) on Facebook finally allowing you to fully delete photos and you have a photo geolocation sharing monster on your hands.