Instagram began its journey 3 years ago as an easy way to share photos among your group of friends from your mobile device. Fast forward to December 2013 and they invited members of the press to “share a moment” with the Instagram team today.
Since Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, there have been big expectations as to what the next big thing will be from this humble little app. There have been many rumors to what is going to be unveiled Today; from direct messaging through the app such as a Snapchat-like video feature or a printing service.
Rumor #1 – Direct Messages
This started when a GigaOm article titled “What is Instagram’s next big thing? Messaging, perhaps” talked about what the next step for Instagram should be, which was also backed by the author stating “well-placed sources say”
Granted, I don’t always believe anything unless an official states the claim; but looking at it from a business prospective it makes total sense. Why do you think Facebook threw out a $3 billion dollar offer for Snapchat? It’s because of the direct messaging capability of Snapchat, while the images do delete themselves after a predetermined time. They offer a one-on-one personal engagement that no other app has been able to match yet.
In addition, other companies have been improving their private/direct messaging capabilities to make it easier for individuals to use. Twitter is one of the many companies that updated their app to help make it easier to share content privately.
Also, there’s just a ton of 3rd party add-ons to Instagram that offer private messaging to users on the network.
So it makes sense for Instagram to build this feature into their app moving forward.
Rumor #2 – Printing Services
When Instagram’s sent out invitations for the announcement, the invites came with a special Instagram photo printed on a wooden frame.
While there have been many companies out there that take your photos from online sources, such as Instagram and print them out for you. This move with the wooden photo included with the invitation suggests they could be launching their own in-house photo printing service for their user base. Having a printing service will give them an extra revenue stream right alongside their paid Instagram ads.
In any case, in a world where it’s getting increasingly harder to keep announcements a secret. Instagram’s announcement will surely be something to look forward to.