Instagram’s Patient and Focused Bowling Pin Strategy
Instagram is rolling out its Snapchat competitor Bolt in 3 markets - New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa – as Mashable reports.
In a statement to Mashable:
We decided to start small with Bolt, in just a handful of countries, to make sure we can scale while maintaining a great experience. We expect to roll it out more widely soon.
What strikes me about this is Instagram’s patience and focus. It’s classic Instagram.
Remember, back in early 2012 – Instagram had been live on iPhone for 1.5 years, and boasted over 30 million users, before Instagram (patiently and with focus) rolled out to Android in April 2012.
And that Android release was downloaded over 1 million times in the first day. Incredible. (Later that month, $1B later, they became part of the Facebook family.)
Back to patience and focus.
Chris Dixon sums it up nicely in The Bowling Pin Strategy:
A huge challenge for user-generated websites is overcoming the chicken-and-egg problem: attracting users and contributors when you are starting with zero content. One way to approach this challenge is to use what Geoffrey Moore calls the bowling pin strategy: find a niche where the chicken-and-egg problem is more easily overcome and then find ways to hop from that niche to other niches and eventually to the broader market.
This is exactly what worked for Instagram in the first place.
Their patient and focused bowling pin strategy took them from iPhone to Android masterfully.
And now, they’re duplicating the strategy rolling out Bolt in a hot, controlled burn in three select markets. (A refreshing twist from Facebook’s sloppy, leaked roll out of Slingshot)
I wonder, though… Why those three markets - New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa? Why them in particular?