Facebook's Instagram acquisition 'won't change Twitter strategy'

Published Apr 17 2012, 14:58 BST  |  By

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Twitter has said that Facebook's $1 billion (£629m) acquisition of Instagram won't trigger a change in its strategy, amid reports that the microblogging site missed out on the deal.

Dick Costolo, the chief executive of Twitter, said on a visit to Tokyo yesterday that Facebook's move for the popular photo-sharing mobile app won't push his firm to launch a competing service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, he said: "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."

The New York Times last week revealed that sources close to Instagram, the small US start-up with 40m members worldwide, have said that Twitter attempted on several occasions to pursue a deal for Twitter, before Mark Zuckerberg's firm entered negotiations.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, an Instagram investor, was said to be the driving force behind the talks, and the newspaper noted that his lack of activity on Instagram ever since it was bought by Facebook is "perhaps a sign that he is not happy to see it in the hands of a competitor".

Essentially a photo microblogging service, the Instagram app on iOS and Android appears to be a very good fit for Twitter's business. Many Instagram users already post their photos, complete with retro style filters, onto their Twitter feeds.

However, Costolo feels that it would be foolish to respond to Facebook's Instagram deal by launching a rival photo-sharing service.

He pointed to the various video-sharing sites that popped up after Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.6 billion, noting that many of them failed to fire.

"You can look at all sorts of other similar cases in the past when an event like this happens and people try to react to it. Copying it is never a good idea, at least history would say it's not a good idea," he said.

"We will make sure that we execute on the strategy that we have and not one that's been laid down for us based on events that happen in the marketplace."

On Monday, Costolo unveiled Twitter's new strategy for evolving its API (application programming interface), which enables other companies to build products that use Twitter as their basis.

The Twitter API has already enabled thousands of apps from third parties, and various other technology sites, such as Spotify, Amazon and Facebook, also use APIs to create a more vibrant offerings around their platforms.

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