Today in Tech: Instagram nabs 80 million users

July 27, 2012, 4:11 PM UTC

Facebook’s earnings disappoint; Amazon’s profit drops. 

Instagram hits 80 million users, with 4 billion photos shares [THE NEXT WEB]

Regardless of the opinion of pundits, though, Instagram continues to grow at a massive rate. And it shows no signs of stopping now.

Facebook earnings: Good, but not good enough [CNNMONEY]

Shares of Facebook fell more than 10% to around $24 — nearly 40% below the company’s initial public offering price. Facebook did beat analysts’ revenues expectations slightly and earnings matched forecasts, but that was apparently not enough for Wall Street.

Chasing Facebook’s next billion users [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK]

Core to this group is product manager Naomi Gleit, the second-longest-tenured Facebook employee. (Zuckerberg is first.) Gleit describes her team’s mission as making “Facebook available to everyone in the world.” Nearly half of the Internet’s worldwide 2 billion-plus population visits Facebook at least once a month. That’s a powerful draw for advertisers and makes life very difficult for social media up-and-comers (looking at you, Google+ and Twitter) that aspire to unseat the company as the world’s largest online network.

Amazon profit drops 96% [FORTUNE]

The company reported a 29% sales increase to $12.83 billion, up from $9.9 billion the same time last year. That was off from Wall Street’s estimates, which had predicted revenues of $12.9 billion. Profits dropped 96% to $7 million, or 1 cent per share, compared with $191 million a year ago. Amazon shares were up 1% in after hours trading.

What’s good for Verizon and AT&T is terrible for American consumers [WIRED]

Imagine having just two companies selling salt, or blue jeans, or light fixtures. That couldn’t happen, because it’s relatively easy for a new competitor to manufacture those products and make a modest profit. But it can happen in the wireless world, because these two carriers have built enormous moats protecting their businesses: They have vastly greater access to capital, airwaves, and towers as well as vastly greater numbers of subscribers than the two stragglers on the national scene, Sprint (50 million) and T-Mobile (35 million).

48 of tech’s most powerful disruptors [FORTUNE]

Things got a little heated at Fortune’sannual Brainstorm Tech conference, held in Aspen, Colo., in mid-July. Between sessions on social media and mobile platforms, PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, an avowed libertarian, clashed with Google chairman Eric Schmidt, an unabashed optimist, over whether technology has been effective at solving thorny problems such as high energy prices and stagnant wages.