Originally posted on Gigaom:
It’s probably an understatement to say a lot of digital ink has been spilled about Facebook’s $1-billion acquisition of Instagram, a deal that sent shock waves through the startup community, the venture-capital industry and the technology sector like a boulder dropped into a swimming pool. Many people are questioning the value of Instagram — something that appears to be just a childishly simple simple photo-sharing app — and have ascribed all kinds of motives to Facebook’s interest in it. But as Om has noted in his own posts on the acquisition, there is a lot more to Instagram than meets the eye, and the biggest lesson that I think needs to be learned is: Nothing is more important than the network.
A lot of the coverage of Instagram, especially from people who don’t seem to have ever used the app, has focused on the filters that are provided for users, some of which add a 70′s-style look or an old-fashioned border or a sepia tone to a photo before it is posted. In fact, much of the criticism that the service has gotten — and some of the scepticism around the deal with Facebook — seems to be based on the idea that all Instagram does is make people’s pictures look worse by adding grainy filters: