Tomahawk, WI 12/16/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will join the S&P 500 Index on Monday, Dec. 23, after meeting the benchmarking qualifications which include posting four consecutive quarters of positive earnings. The excitement over this development was seen in the stock’s overnight jump by 3.4 percent in the closing that followed the announcement.

In the S&P 500 Index, FB joins other leading tech and internet giants including AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google Inc, (NASDAQ:GOOG). FB becomes the latest high profile addition to the standard. Comments from analysts and investors in relation to its inclusion in the Index leave no doubt that this becomes the latest good thing to happen to the company.

Instagram Direct

Just when the company is basking in good press due to its inclusion in the S&P 500 Index, FB has announced the launch of its own instant photo and video sharing mobile app. The app is called Instagram Direct and works like Snapchat.

Snapchat is the mobile messaging and photo sharing app which FB attempted to buy but turned down at $3 billion. This came as various sources reported that Snapchat was being courted by a Chinese Internet company which was willing to offer $4 billion for the app.  This was a crashing defeat for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) which needed to forestall the loss of its young users to private messaging apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat and the likes.

Following the failed bid for Snapchat, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) returned to look at its own mobile app, Instagram, and upgraded it with a feature that allows users to share photos and videos with up to 15 people. This feature allows users full control of the content they share wherein they can delete what they have shared without leaving a trace.

Instant Direct is expected to help Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) bring back its lost young user base and even add more users. The need for private content sharing and control over what is shared has been growing in popularity and more so among the teens.

It now means that Instagram Direct users will now be able to share photos and videos with followers and non-followers not exceeding 15 people and can make the shared content unavailable at will.

Big saving

Startup mobile apps have been giving Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) a run for its money as they harvest from its wide user base. The company was ready to fork out $3 billion to takeover Snapchat in efforts to limit the damage from mobile messaging app. Now it is using its $1 billion Instagram purchase to do just what it wanted the $3 billion investment in Snapchat to do.

With the upgrading of Instagram, FB hopes that it will be able to increase the daily photo sharing on its platform from 350 million to a higher number that can surpass Snapchat’s 400 million photo-shares.

Conclusion

The good news to investors here is that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been able to save $3 billion that would have been paid to get Snapchat and now it can use this money to improve its own mobile app and features. However, this good news is the latest bad news for competitors who now have to brace themselves for an epic battle for the control of social networking dollar.

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