Facebook has just announced that it is buying Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.
According to reports, Facebook may have bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition in a blog post:
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.
Instagram (App Store link) was voted the iPhone app of the year in 2011 by Apple and recently crossed the 30-million iPhone users milestone and had also released an Android app last week, which was downloaded more than a million times in 12 hours.
The San Francisco-based company has only 13 employees and raised $7 million just over a year ago, when it only had 1.75 million registered users. So it is an amazing deal for its founders and employees.