April 10, 2012, 2:15 PM —
Somewhere there's a Facebook fanboy who actually takes at face value CEO Mark Zuckerberg's assurances regarding Instagram's independence now that the social networking giant has agreed to acquire the wildly popular photo-sharing app.
But most of us -- hopefully, at least -- are not so naive. Facebook isn't paying $1 billion to acquire a company ostensibly worth $500 million so it can not integrate it into Facebook's massive data-mining operation.
Facebook sees an opportunity here beyond merely adding more than 30 million users of Instagram to its social empire. It sees a way to leverage more contextualized data and content for advertisers. After all, isn't that Facebook's business model? (It sure isn't "Do whatever we can to allay the privacy fears of our members.")
And the truth is, Zuckerberg didn't make any promises in his Monday announcement posted to his 12.8 million Facebook followers:
"[W]e need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook."
"We need to be mindful"? Now there's an ironclad guarantee!
"That's why we're committed to building and growing Instagram independently.