Twitter wanted to buy Instagram, but won't copy Facebook

Twitter has no plans to buy a photo-sharing app like Instagram, says Dick Costolo

Twitter expressed an interest in buying Instagram long before the photo sharing app was snapped up by Facebook for $1 billion, but the company will not be looking to make a rival acquisition, according to chief executive Dick Costolo.

Several people briefed on the matter claim that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who invested in Instagram in February 2011, tried to purchase the mobile app months before the deal with Facebook was signed. Dorsey was once an avid user of Instagram, but no longer uses the app, according to a report in The New York Times.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

The news might explain why Facebook paid such a high price for Instagram, which currently has just 13 employees and makes no money. Ovum analyst Mark Little said at the time that the price of $1 billion was "inflated", but added that the price tag indicated an "anti-competitive element".

Instagram is an app that allows users to add vintage effects to smartphone photos. It also serves as a standalone social network, allowing users to share their photos with friends outside the boundaries of Facebook and Twitter. The app will be valuable to Facebook, not least because of its 30 million-strong user base.

"These users can now be used to generate revenue for Facebook and, most importantly, not for competitors such as Google or Twitter," said Juniper Research analyst Charlotte Miller in a recent blog post.

During a visit to Tokyo earlier this week, however, Twitter's chief executive Dick Costolo said he would not push his company to seek similar acquisitions.

"I think that sometimes there is a tendency for companies to react to events in the marketplace that are inconsistent with their strategy and I think that tendency is a mistake," Costolo told Japanese reporters. "Copying it is never a good idea, at least history would say it's not a good idea."

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Costolo promised that Twitter would execute on its existing strategy, rather than trying to follow the market. Part of that strategy is to focus on evolving its API to allow third party companies to build their own products and services into Twitter, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sophie Curtis

Techworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?