Dec. 4 - Tech heavyweights from Silicon Valley and around Europe converge in Paris for LeWeb. Matt Cowan chats to CEO's from Instagram and Soundcloud about their plans.
The world's biggest social network Facebook wants you to know that it can do small as well. Namely, the small screen. Kevin Systrom, CEO of the mobile photo sharing service Instagram acknowledges its part of the reason his company of only 16 people was bought by Facebook this past year for around 715 million dollars. SOUNDBITE: Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO saying (English): "Mark and I both see a future where Instagram provides a whole lot of value to Facebook as an independent brand as well, because I think that people understand that Instagram is associated with this mobile device, it's a photos only network and that that's part of why they were so excited about having Instagram inside, is that it is a mobile network." That's a sentiment Facebook's director of platform partnerships Justin Osofsky is keen to echo. SOUNDBITE: Justin Osofsky, Facebook Platform Partnerships Director "If you're looking at kind of how we're evolving our mobile product, Facebook has become a mobile first company." Facebook recently announced it planned to combine user data with Instagram, eventually bowing to public pressure to hold a vote on the proposed changes. An Austrian student group plans to take Facebook to court to try to get it to do more to protect the privacy of users. SOUNDBITE: Justin Osofsky, Facebook Platform Partnerships Director: "It's really important that people trust their experience on Facebook, that's the cornerstone of what we do, and so the changes that we're making are consistent with those principles." SOUNDBITE: Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO saying (English): "I think what people have to remember is that we always have the best intentions in mind for everyone and data sharing is not something that we focus on in the morning, when we wake up and we get to work, we're not like, how do we get data to go from one place to the other, we're simply trying to make the services better." Instagram itself is still ad-free, but Systrom hinted that would eventually change. Meanwhile, Berlin's SoundCloud - referred to by some as the 'YouTube of audio' announced it was refreshing its service with new discovery and sharing tools. CEO Alexander Ljung says the hope is the changes will make the service more appealing to a wider variety of internet users. SOUNDBITE: Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud CEO saying (English): "Users on SoundCloud, they get a reach of over 180 million people over the entire web, through intergrations with Tumblr, Twitter, the mobile apps and everything like that. And it's 8% of the internet population, so next is a major step towards getting from 8% to a whole lot more." The trick, as always, is to build the platforms and services to keep users engaged…so they don't move on to the next new thing.