After narrowly missing the opportunity to acquire Instagram, it seems that Twitter was eager to try again; this time with one of the most popular paid camera apps, Camera+. Apparently, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey actually met with tap tap tap — the makers of Camera+ — to discuss an acquisition shortly after news of Facebook’s Instagram acquisition broke.
This news comes just two weeks after Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told the press that they would not be trying to acquire an Instagram competitor. It’s all the same, however, because negotiations didn’t end up leading to a purchase or even an offer. The main reason for the breakdown in negotiations was apparently location: Camera+ employees are located all over the world and were reluctant to relocate to San Francisco.
(via Bloomberg and MacWorld)
Early last month we reported that Shutterfly had agreed to buy Kodak Gallery for a meager $23.8 million. The process, done by way of a “stalking horse bid,” meant that another company was allowed to make a competing bid for the gallery by April 20th.
Facebook may have been the victor in the race to acquire Instagram, but it wasn’t the only runner. The New York Times writes that Twitter had been interested in snatching up the service in the months leading up to the $1 billion buyout.
Mr. Systrom may have lost one connection in the deal: Mr. Dorsey of Twitter. His company, according to several people briefed on the matter, had expressed interest in buying Instagram in recent months. Mr. Dorsey once used Instagram daily to send photos to Twitter, but he has not been back since the deal was announced, perhaps a sign that he is not happy to see it in the hands of a competitor. A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment.
Here’s a crazy fact: in the 10 days after launching for Android, Instagram’s member count skyrocketed from 30 million to 40 million — a million new users each day. Rob Haggart writes that Instagram joins the Kodak Brownie as the next great photography disruptor.
Image credit: Facebook koopt Instagram. by Stijn Vogels
When it was announced that Facebook would be acquiring Instagram back on Monday, the web balked at the $1 billion price tag and started shouting “bubble”. Is it really indicative of another tech bubble, or was it a smart move on Zuckerberg’s part? Andy Baio — the founder of Upcoming.org, which was purchased by Yahoo — has written up an interesting article over at Wired that takes a look at the numbers. For a billion bucks, Facebook snagged a startup with a whopping 35 million users and just 13 employees. This means that Instagram had a relatively cheap cost-per-user price and a ridiculously high cost-per-employee price.
Instagram’s Buyout: No Bubble to See Here [Wired]
Photo enthusiast Chris Malcolm needed a better way to aim his 500mm lens at fast moving subjects (e.g. birds in flight), so he upgraded his lens with a DIY sighting aid by attaching a non-magnified red dot sight:
They’re designed to clamp onto a gun sight wedge mount, so some kind of adapter is required. I played with the hot shoe mount, but it was too flexible — the sight needed re-zeroing at every mount, and was easily knocked out of calibration. The degree of precision required to aim the central focus sensor at the target via the dot also made parallax error a problem on the hot shoe. So I decided to mount it directly on the lens. Least parallax error, plus the geometry of the lens barrel and the sight mount naturally lines it up with the lens. To protect the lens barrel I glued the sight clamp to a cardboard tube slightly too small, slit open to provide a sprung grab on the lens body. The slit also handily accommodates the focus hold button on the lens barrel.
Malcolm reports that the site “works amazingly well”, making it “trivially easy to aim the lens at anything very quickly”.
Back in November of last year, we reported that Kodak had put its Kodak Gallery service up for sale and was hoping to offload it for “hundreds of millions of dollars”. A couple months later Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and now the company has finally found a buyer for the photo sharing and printing service: Shutterfly. The sale price? Only $23.8 million. If the sale gets approved by the US Bankruptcy Court in March, Kodak Gallery’s 75 million users will be transferred over to Shutterfly unless they opt out.
Crippled by its recent financial scandal, Olympus is in need of a bailout and has been open to the idea of forming a strategic alliance with other companies. The latest news is that Sony is on the brink of acquiring a 20-30% stake in the beleaguered medical device and camera company, a sizable increase from the 0.03% it currently owns. The alliance would combine Sony’s expertise in making camera sensors with Olympus’ expertise in medical devices. Fujifilm has also been named as a company that’s interested in investing in Olympus, but Sony seems to currently be the clear front-runner.
(via Nikkei via 43 Rumors)
Image credit: EOS Bridge for NEX-5/NEX-3 by 246-You
Olympus’ stock price has been recovering quite nicely after an internal probe found no evidence of yakuza involvement (though they did slam upper management as “rotten”). However, rumors of possible takeover attempts persist. An article published by Bloomberg today reported that Fujifilm may be in the hunt for the beleaguered company:
Fujifilm, which makes equipment for medical scans, has been reported as a possible bidder for Japanese camera maker Olympus Corp. Yamamoto, who also is a board member at Fujifilm, declined to comment on a possible buyout of Olympus today.
Fujifilm Chief Executive Officer Shigetaka Komori said last month it was too early to discuss Olympus issues while the third-party panel was still probing the fraud at the camera maker.
Fujifilm has received a lot of praise lately for its sleek X series cameras, and could take another big step towards becoming a digital camera juggernaut if it somehow landed Olympus.
(via Bloomberg via Mirrorless Rumors)
Image credit: Olympus Trip XB401 by Arty Smokes (deaf mute)
After arriving late to the digital photography party, Kodak took another step away from the market yesterday by selling off its sensor business to CA-based firm Platinum Equity. The sale of Kodak Image Sensor Solutions (KISS) — which includes the company’s 263,000 square foot facility in Rochester — will hopefully give Kodak the boost of cash it needs to avoid bankruptcy and turn into a healthy business. Kodak sensors are found in a number of popular cameras, including the Leica M9 and S2.
The company is also looking into selling a chunk of its patents to raise more cash, which will help it in its current efforts to transform into a printer and ink company.
(via Business Wire via 1001 Noisy Cameras)
Fox News is reporting that HP is in talks with potential buyers of its webOS mobile operating system, which it obtained back in April 2010 after acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion. One of the potential buyers is surprising though:
Sources on the WebOS team say that HP is actively meeting with a number of interested buyers including HTC, LG, Nikon, and Amazon.
Just think: [...] a WebOS-powered camera from Nikon? That would be a Halloween treat indeed.
Nikon? Really? Why would they be looking at buying a mobile operating system? Perhaps they’re seeing that cameras are starting to feel more like computers and want to take advantage of the shift — the iPhone’s camera is certainly one that’s backed by a powerful operating system.
(via Fox News via Nikon Rumors)