Thursday, June 28, 2012
Facebook Buys InstaBaby for $3 Billion
Facebook surprised Wall Street insiders today when it purchased the upstart app Instababy for an estimated $3 billion. Instababy was created in 2009 by James and Irene Parker as an app for Facebook that would allow them to create an imaginary baby to appease the demands of friends and family. According to their website, “Almost as soon as we were married our friends and family would hound us about having children. We weren’t ready to take that leap yet, but they kept asking. Finally, we said enough. We created Instababy and the questions stopped!”
Instababy has now delivered over 1 million babies to users and can be downloaded to any Android or iOS5 device. The Parkers have also expanded the app to give a complete child experience from birth to college graduation. By plugging in physical and psychological traits of the prospective parents, Instababy creates a customized virtual baby. Users can then schedule instant uploads to Facebook for special events such as “baby’s first birthday” and their “child’s dance recital”. Instababy will also share photographs and short stories about their “child’s” progress. The app can even insert your virtual baby into vacation photos. According to Instababy user Marjorie Philips, “It is awesome! You know all of those annoying stories your Facebook friends post about how amazing their kids are? Well, now I can do that too. Your daughter just won her science fair? Well guess what, mine just won a research grant with Stephen Hawking.” Some critics however, have questioned the longevity of such a website. Wouldn’t your family and friends eventually find out?
According to Irene Parker, they were surprised at the results. “More than 90% of our Facebook friends and family never found out. We discovered that very few people on Facebook ever see each other and even when they do, they often don’t bring their kids. It seems like the more connected we have become as a society, the less connected we actually are. Interestingly, once we had our ‘children’, people don’t seem nearly as inclined to ask us about them as they were before. The few who did discover the truth were initially disappointed but then they joined in the fun too. My mother-in-law even created an Instababy for herself.”
Though Instababy sounds like a hit, analysts wonder why Facebook would pay the hefty $3 billion price tag for the app. Comments from the recently married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg suggests he believes that the app “is a good investment for Facebook and fits perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish.” In unrelated news, Zuckerberg and his new wife announced that they are expecting their first child.
The Top 10 Reasons People Love Instababy:
1. Create a photo timeline from birth to college graduation.
2. Schedule automated posts for Facebook in seconds.
3. Always have the smartest and cutest baby of any of your friends.
4. Leverage in hostage situations: “please sir, I have children”.
5. Instant Excuse: “Sorry I would’ve loved to help you move but little Ricky is sick.”
6. Receive gifts that you can return for stuff for you want (like a Jet Ski) and then create customized childlike thank you notes to family and friends.
7. No doctors, no medical bills and no delivery. Instababy is instant gratification!
8. Be able to watch kid’s movies like Brave without being embarrassed.
9. 20% off discount to Hire-An-Actor for the big events like graduations.
10. Save an estimated $200,000+ (the approximate cost of raising a child from birth through college)!