Instagram Invite For Mysterious December 12 Media Event May Hint Toward Printing

Instagram has invited members of the media to an event in NYC on December 12 to “share a moment” with Kevin Systrom and the Instagram team.

It’s unclear what this event is in reference to, but considering that the invitation was sent in the mail, on paper, the photo-sharing app could be hinting at a future in print. Other invites were a block of wood with pictures printed on them, with a hanger on one side to hang on the wall. If that isn’t a hint toward printing, I don’t know what is.

It sounds ridiculous, considering the digital revolution is in full swing and paper is on its way out, but there is an entire ecosystem of applications, services, etc. that piggy backs off of Instagram’s success.

A number of services print Instagram photos on wood, canvas, glass, and even marshmallows so that users can enjoy the physical incarnation of their digital obsession.

With Christmas around the corner, the introduction of a photo printing business could mean big bucks for the photo-sharing app, which has just recently introduced a revenue stream in Instagram ads.

So far, the roll out is slow and small, while reaction is unclear. Printing could be a strong way to quickly bring in revenue with behemoth Facebook as a backup resource to cover printing, shipping costs. It’s an investment, but one that will generate revenue quickly.

On the other hand, Instagram could be trying to pull a fast one on us with these invites, and perhaps release a messaging feature to compete with the likes of Snapchat, as Om Malik reported.

After all, Facebook has seemed awfully jealous of all of the attention Snapchat’s been getting lately. Envy worth $3 billion. That’s mighty green.

In fact, messaging is probably inevitable on Instagram. Though much of the app centers around relatively public interactions, messaging is becoming ingrained in everything we do on the internet. Visit any updated ecommerce or services website and you’re auto-chatting with a service representative. Why do you think Layer, the Disrupt winner looking to bring messaging into any app, is doing so well lately?

Instagram will most likely get in on the messaging game at some point.

Of course, we’ll have to wait until December 12 to find out just what Instagram has in store.