Remember when Facebook was on the cutting edge of social media, drawing in all of the kids and generally just being the cool place to be? You should, because it was only a few short years ago, but these days, the social network is entering its dotage. As we wrote about last week, Facebook is on the decline with teens. Luckily for Facebook, they have had the wonderful idea of replacing innovation with fat stacks of cash, buying newer, hipper properties as they emerge successful. It worked for them with Instagram, and now they are trying to do the same thing with Snapchat. Will they get it? What will it mean for your social media marketing? We take a look.
According to the Wall Street Journals’ Evelyn Rusli and Douglas MacMillan, Zuckerberg and Facebook are willing and eager to buy Snapchat (owned by Mr. Spiegel). They’re even (allegedly) willing to pay more than the bundle they paid for Instagram. It seems like throwing a cool billion at a problem would solve it, but Zuckerberg and the gang are being stymied by Spiegel’s unwillingness to sell his creation.
The reality is that Spiegel doesn’t need Facebook money. He already has millions in his pocket from investments, and even if Instagram failed tomorrow, he would still walk away a rich man.
“According to people briefed on the matter, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to approach the start-up to discuss an acquisition above $1 billion,” Rusli and MacMillan write. “However, Facebook was rebuffed by Spiegel, who was not interested in selling his service to the social network, according to those people.” Facebook and Snapchat did not return their requests for comment.
Before you call Spiegel an idiot for not taking up Zuckerberg on a billion dollar offer, be aware that experts have valued Snapchat at between 3 and 4 billion dollars. Then again, MySpace was worth a lot of money too back in the day.
As a marketer, I’d start paying close attention to Snapchat. Now is a great time to get on and learn the ropes, because it won’t be long before aggressive advertising comes to the platform.