A picture’s worth a thousand words, but one photo app is worth a billion bucks

April 10, 2012

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On Monday, in a move that might seem a little out of focus to some, the social networking giant Facebook announced that it was snatching up the popular photo app Instagram for a cool $1 billion in cash and stock.

Instagram has grown seemingly exponentially in recent months, and found its way onto more than 30-million iPhones and iPads. And just last week, it made its app available on the Android market – a move that could blow the doors out on its potential for growth. But even with its track record, and the possibilities still that still lie ahead, is Instagram worth all that bank?

Plus, there’s another social network on the rise. A recent report lists Pinterest as the third largest social network. Some have called it "Twitter with pictures," but it’s more of a virtual pinboard with a social intent. But who’s using it, and what’s its potential?

Ars Technica’s Social Editor Cesar Torres joins us to help us wade through what’s hot and what’s hype.

And, speaking of “hot”:  another technology-fueled fast-tracker is crime-related. City slickers have seen a big increase in the thefts of their smartphones. Major cities across the country report that the theft of smartphones and other wireless devices accounts for some 30 to 40 percent of all robberies. In an effort to make these devices less attractive to would-be thieves, mobile providers, police departments and the Federal Communications Commission are teaming up to permanently cancel the minutes on any stolen smartphone. We'll debate the merits of this initiative as well.