Facebook has acquired Instagram, one of the most popular photo-sharing and editing mobile apps, for the price of US$1 billion in a combination of cash and shares of Facebook.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the news via his Facebook page on Monday morning. Zuckerberg pointed out that the acquisition of Instagram marks the first time that the world's largest social network has "ever acquired a product and company with so many users".
Although it grew as a popular iPhone app and its photos can be shared easily on other sites such as Tumblr or Flickr, one could argue that Instagram owes its success to its presence on Facebook.
Nevertheless, it looks like Instagram is still going to retain some kind of autonomy — possibly to maintain the app's edgy and indie brand. Without revealing any specific details, Zuckerberg did note that Facebook will continue to build out Instagram "independently".
Here's an excerpt from the memo:
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.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom added to these sentiments on his company's official blog, trying to reassure Instagram users that the app "will still be the same one you know and love".
It's important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We'll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We'll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.
Via ZDNet US