Understanding the Facebook/Instagram Acquisition

Matt Kautz previews EAMC webinar with look at Instagram deal, changes to Facebook Timeline

  • by Dave Brooks
  • Published: April 10, 2012

Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., has created customized cover images to brand its new Facebook Timeline.

On Thursday, Matt Kautz from Paciolan leads a webinar on changes to Facebook Timeline, held in association with the Event and Arena Marketing Conference. Joining the call will be Philadelphia 76ers Social Media Manager Jerry Rizzo and Becca Watters from the Spokane (Wash.) Arena.

The webinar comes less than two weeks after Facebook mandated Timeline changes across all Facebook pages, and just 48 hours after the social media giant announced plans to purchase photo-sharing platform Instagram for $1 billion in a cash and stock deal. Venues Today caught up with Kautz to discuss the merger and learn about updates to Timeline.

Facebook made big headlines Monday when they purchased Instagram, a company that essentially has zero revenue. Why would Facebook make this deal?

I think what’s in it for Facebook is improving their photo-sharing product overall. They’ve come to realize that their mobile application has to accomplish so many things that photo sharing gets lost in the shuffle. With the Instagram purchase, they immediately bring their photo-sharing capabilities to a world-class level.

So it’s not a deal we should look at as a straight revenue play?

Absolutely not. But I do think Facebook sees the future of social media in photo sharing, just look at the rapid rise of Pinterest over the last couple of months. It’s key to holding on to their core traffic and, over time, I think it will be a revenue play, much as Google’s acquisition of YouTube ended up being a huge revenue play and was very profitable.

What does this mean for venues?

Right now I don’t see any need for venues to change their strategies. To me, the biggest opportunity for venues is still encouraging their customers to check in on Facebook and on Foursquare and share the fact that they’re at your venue. They will naturally include photos when they’re sharing with their friends.


Rupp Arena's Instagram Feed

Thursday’s webinar will look at Facebook's shift onto Timeline. As one of the managers of my company’s Facebook page, what are some of the changes I’ll notice right away.

The look and feel for your customers is the biggest change — now they’ll be able to scroll back through your history and see all the milestones you’ve added to the account. It’s really a much more interactive history than your fans have had before.

What other changes should I look for?

Fans can now send you direct messages, which they couldn’t do before. It’s Facebook’s answer to Twitter and makes Facebook more dominant in the customer service portal. Other features we’ll cover tomorrow will be Facebook’s new large cover photos and the big opportunity to get your fans engaged with you on their own personal pages. If you can create compelling cover art, your fans are more likely to copy it and put it on their pages, which is free marketing. There’s also the ability to pin newsfeed posts to the top of the pages for seven days. There’s an interplay between that and tabs, which are more prominently featured with much bigger images and more branding potential.

Facebook Timeline and Social Media Best Practices presented by Event and Arena Marketing Conference and sponsored by Paciolan is Thursday from 10-11 a.m. PST (1 p.m.-2 p.m. EST). Click here to register in advance and attend.


  • by Dave Brooks
  • Published: April 10, 2012