It might in reality be an acquisition, but to some people it will feel instead like an annexation.
That's the thing about all these acquisitions of users: they are companies coming in an annexing territory. Instagram is a place.
The acquisition of users by M&A is the equivalent of shock and awe. Nowhere does anyone put effort into winning hearts and minds.
At some point it's going to feel like Google being the wealthy unknown foreign investor buying a sports team.
You know what, if someone could just BUY their way into my house, and I had no choice, I'd resent the fuck out of that.
I bet Fitbit was the best selling quantified self device over Xmas. How would people feel if tomorrow all their data rolled into Google+?
And so this is what we get with well designed products we have relationships with. You want to buy that relationship?
When the Yahoo! or Google+ logo appears in your space! it's a sentry garrisoned there, a reminder this place doesn't belong to you anymore.
You never even get to mount a resistance. You wake up one morning and the flag's changed.
Google wants to organise all the information in the world. We don't get a choice.
When the internet reached out into the physical world with Nest etc it levelled up in what's needed in trustful relationships
But when the net touches the world, those 'users' are harder to ignore, because their relationship with the service is part physical.
Oh, and it turns out they're People, not Users! And that trust, let alone loyalty isn't just transferred on someone else's whim!
Organising all the information in the world is an open-ended, perpetual mission. Msft fizzled after their PC on every desk vision died.
I know @fraying knows what I mean when the repercussions of annexing COMMUNITIES come home
Look, Comcast - xfinity - has a home security product. It's probably shit. But at least I know comcast just wants to deliver me bits.
TV, Internet - and maybe look after my house. That's okay, because Comcast DOESNT WANT ALL THE DATA.
I might not mind a home automation company or even a cable company doing something like home security for me.
But when your stated goal is to organise the world's information, I'm starting to freak out when you get this intimate by force.
Because an acquisition or annexation is bluntly an act of unresistable force against the community using that service.
So I say this, people designing loveable, relatable, personal services: how are your users going to feel when you get bought out?
You are getting bought out, right? Your founders have an exit plan? They're not in this to build something lasting?