by Merlin Hernandez

Facebook now owns Instagram in a $1 billion acquisition that seems staggering to some but one that provides an expanded operational platform for FB. Reports emerging today are that Instagram usage has surpassed Twitter amidst earlier speculation that Twitter will outperform Facebook in advertising revenue this year. Instagram can change all that for Facebook to bring some good news to the beleaguered sophomore. It is an integration that would speed up onboarding and allow multiple tags for Instagram users but offers a rapidly expanding user base for Facebook as a vehicle to stream glossy photo ads throughout the e-commerce universe. With over 900 million users, the FB market reach has had an exponential boost. One of the main causes of the perceived failure of the Facebook IPO that sees the stock trading today at just above $20, having launched at $38 was the challenge to reaching the growing base of smart phone users with its ads. Instagram’s photo app is the bridge that should provide a boost to investor confidence by mitigating a major hurdle to growth.

But these are uncharted waters and Facebook’s pioneering will not be without setbacks. There had been some slow appreciation of the stock since the acquisition, but by and large, price fluctuations characterize the stock trajectory. It is early yet and full integration with the new acquisition is not complete. The stock has also been plagued by unfair comparison with Google, microscopic scrutiny, insider selling, and revelations of fake accounts. But solving the issue of advertising reach into lucrative emerging global markets could eventually blow the stock out of the ballpark