When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used an app called Viddy to share a video of his cotton-ball-lookalike-dog Beast on Sunday, it seemed like an invitation to speculate.
Facebook acquired photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion earlier this month. Viddy, which lets users upload 15 seconds of videos and apply photo filters to create special effects, is often explained as “an Instagram for video.”
It’s easy to watch the video and wonder if “Zuck,” as he calls himself in his Viddy profile, has started a social multimedia shopping spree. When Zuckerberg announced the Instagram acquisition, however, he made it clear he didn’t intend to make $1-billion acquisitions a habit.
“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users,” he wrote on his public Facebook profile. “We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”
Viddy has emerged as a front-runner among a crowd of social video apps that include Mobli, vYou and Tout. The startup recently passed 15 million users, and, according to The New York Times, is adding about 300,000 new users every day.
Meanwhile, like some of its competitors, it has attracted investors from the entertainment industry, including the investment operations of Shakira, Jay-Z and Will Smith. Connections with celebrities are helpful when it comes to acquiring users. Justin Bieber’s first Instagram photo, for instance, sent a beeline of traffic to the service that resembled a pattern a site might experience if it were being hacked.
Zuckerberg’s arrival on Viddy will also introduce some new users to the service. The single video he posted Sunday evening has already garnered him more than 2,000 followers.
But his presence on the site doesn’t necessarily signal Facebook’s interest in acquiring it.
Zuckerberg also has profiles on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. It’s a compliment when the CEO of a company like Facebook publicly signs up for your service (and Viddy has highlighted Zuckerberg’s video on its homepage accordingly), not necessarily the acquisition signal some have suggested.