When Facebook bought Instagram in a cash-and-stock deal that at the time was worth $1 billion, it effectively affirmed the value of iOS while confirming the decline of Facebook’s own platform. Here, finally, was an app that could replace the native photos application on Facebook, which, way back on May 24, 2007, was something Zuckerberg suggested could be achieved by a third-party developer on its platform. It just so happened that this one was built outside of Facebook. The deal highlighted the Platform’s failure to prop up any substantial businesses outside the gaming category.
On the browser, SEO and SEM are paramount, but the equivalent tools on mobile are either non-existent or at best immature. Living in the middle of these two worlds simultaneously creates interesting and unique challenges.
Apple’s philosophy – and particular genius – has always been in sieving the demands of users, technologies and the cultural zeitgeist, and finding the right hundred things to remove for every one thing to keep. I care about what my devices can help me do, and how they can enhance my life. I don’t care about patting a designer on the head, or being distracted from what truly matters.
There is a real elegance to the idea of focused companies with clear missions and simple products. It is similarly attractive to imagine we can improve our complicated lives in this complex world by stitching together highly specialized apps that do one thing and do it well.
Today, under many ruses and many names — sponsored content, native advertising, brand voice, thought leadership, content marketing, even brand journalism — advertisers are conspiring with desperate publishers to erase the black lines identifying ads.