• Facebook to acquire Instagram for $1 billion

    Instagram launched on the App Store in October 2010, and within a year had grown to 7 million users and 1.29 million shared photos a day being one of the most-popular photo-sharing services around. Today 30 million registered users upload more than 5 million photos each day and more than a billion photos have been shared by iOS users. Last week Instagram released the app for Android devices.

    Today Facebook announced it would acquire Instagram for a cool $1 billion.

    Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it plans to keep Instagram running independent; users of Instagram will be able to have separate lists of followers and friends on the two services, and they’ll still be able to share—or not share—photos on social networks of their choice. Instagram users already had the option of posting their photos directly to Facebook.

    Instead, he said, Facebook engineers will help strengthen Instagram—while learning from the newer service about features it can add into its own products.

    “We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook timeline. “That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently.”

    “The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love.” “It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away,” said Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO.

    The acquisition by Facebook could broaden Instagram’s usage even further, to social network users who don’t bother with smartphones.

    “Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together,” Zuckerberg wrote.

    Facebook is paying cash and stock for San Francisco-based Instagram and will hire its 10 employees. The deal is expected to close by the end of June.

    Read the announcement below:

    Facebook to Acquire Instagram

    MENLO PARK, CALIF.-April 9, 2012-Facebook announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Instagram, a fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices.

    The total consideration for San Francisco-based Instagram is approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter.

    Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, posted about the transaction on his Timeline:

    I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

    For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

    We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

    That's why we're committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

    We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

    These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram's experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook's strong engineering team and infrastructure.

    This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

    We're looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we're going to be able to build together.

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