Facebook buys Instagram


Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has revolutionized the social networking experience. Based off the principles of photo sharing and marketing, Facebook has always been on the move to improve their network through the acquisition of opposing companies. One such company is the photo sharing app Instagram.

Mark Zuckerberg displayed his ethos in many different ways when dealing with the intake of the Instagram app. During 2011 Zuckerberg approached the creator of Instagram Kevin Systrom with the intentions of acquiring the merely one year old app. When negotiations fell through with the board on Facebooks side, Zuckerberg took matters into his own hands. Using his credibility as the founder of the largest social networking site, in early 2012 he bypassed the board of directors and used himself for negotiations. By discussing the matters of the offer face to face Zuckerberg was able to make his one billion dollar offer seem like a reasonable price for the app appraised at two billion. Another way Mark was able to use his ethos was after the deal was nearly finalized. When he approached the board with the second proposal they were told they were buying it not consulted, (Davies). This shows Zuckerberg’s authority over his employees as CEO. The board members feel persuaded because they are told it is the correct thing to do by their superior. Although many good ethos traits were shown during the buyout some pathos was also used.

During the negotiation process two of the key pieces of the puzzle were hidden in pathos. Mark told COO Sheryl Sandberg that one benefit of the deal was that Instagram would still be run by itself, management wise, from Facebook. This shows pathos because emotionally it would be hard to sell a company you have worked so hard to establish, but this way it allows Instagram employees to benefit from the income and keep their positions within the company. Another use of pathos was the decision by Mark to not cut the opposition, namely Twitter, from using the service. By doing this he showed the Instagram owners he was in their best interest because he would not limit the user base to just Facebook members.

Facebook made one of the largest online buyouts in history with the help from Mark Zuckerberg. His ability to negotiate using ethos and pathos showed his determination to expand his company to further benefit his customers. Without the use of his rhetorical skills Facebook would not be where it is today.

Works Cited

Davies, Chris. “SlashGear.” SlashGear Instagram Wanted 2bn in Zuckerbergs Secret Facebook Negotiations Comments. N.p., 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2013.
Rusli, Evelyn M. “Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion.” The New York Times. N.p., 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

3 thoughts on “Facebook buys Instagram

  1. If Instagram was valued at two billion, how did discussing his offer face to face make it seem reasonable to the Instagram representatives?

  2. Do you think that it was a smart move to allow competitors to continue to use the Instagram app or do you think that Instagram would have accepted Zuckerberg’s offer to buyout the company if he hadn’t?

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