Turning inner space into outer space

April 9, 2012

Insta-cash for Instagram

So what exactly is Instagram? It’s a photo-sharing app — you can take pictures with your phone and share them via Instagram itself or Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

OK, I guess that’s something. Anything else? Oh yes, you can add a filter “to transform its look and feel.”

Surely there has to be more to it than that. Why on earth would Facebook pay $1 billion for a photo-sharing app with filters? Maybe CEO Mark Zuckerberg has the answer. Here’s what he said on Facebook when he announced the purchase:

Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

The branding and the millions of users certainly don’t hurt. But in the end I’m left with one question that may never be answered. Why is Instagram at $1 billion worth more than the New York Times (at $967 million, according to a figure kicked around the Internet)?