Mobli challenges Instagram with $100,000 prize

Mobli paid for a plane to carry a 30-meter ad over Facebook's Palo Alto HQ launching the "My Last Instagram" contest.

Israeli start-up Mobli Ltd. is trying to embarrass Mark Zuckerberg. Mobli, which is developing a mobile picture and video sharing platform, has found an original way to prompt people to quit its popular rival, Instagram, which Zuckerberg's Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) acquired for $1 billion in 2012. Wednesday and Thursday, Mobli paid for a plane to carry a 30-meter streamer over Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, announcing the My Last Instagram competition.

The competition is a marketing campaign in which Mobli invites Instagram users to upload an original picture and tag it on both platforms under the tag #mylastinstagram, and to then quit Instagram for at least three months. A team of Mobli judges will select the most original and creative picture and award the winner $100,000. The competition begins today and will run through June 30. The winner will be announced in early October.

For Mobli, this is an especially surprising step intended to undermine Instagram's dominance in the picture sharing platforms market. Mobli has gone a step farther by creating a video clip promoting the competition with an image made up of scores of photographs to say "RIP", referring to Instagram. The competition website, Mobli says, "Say goodbye to Instagram, their boring filters, and cropped photos (for at least 3 months, you won't miss it... we promise!)"

Mobli, founded in 2010 by CEO Moshe Hogeg and VP product Yossi Shemesh has made headlines with its celebrity investors and directors. Leonardo di Caprio was one of the company's first investors, and was followed by Tobey Maguire, Lance Armstrong, Serena Williams, and, in October 2011, Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev. The company has raised $28 million to date.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 28, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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