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Facebook doles out $1bn for Instagram

Just days after Instagram launched an Android version of its immensely popular app, Facebook has bought the photo-sharing social network.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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Facebook is estimated to have paid around US$1-billion in cash and stock options for the company.

This is a massive acquisition for the social networking super power, which itself is on the verge of what is expected to be a record-setting IPO.

In fact, the acquisition is so big that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted about it on his own timeline.

Zuckerberg said: he was “excited” to share the news that Facebook had acquired Instagram and that its team would be joining Facebook.

He added that buying out Instagram would allow the social network to “offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests”.

He suggested, however, that Facebook would be “mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features” rather than just trying to integrate it wholesale. As such, he claimed that Instagram would continue to operate as an independent entity within Facebook.

He also claimed that a number of features that Instagram users have become used to would remain the same, such as the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share their Instagram pictures on Facebook, and the ability to keep their Instagram followers separate from their Facebook friends.

According to Zuckerberg the acquisition is “an important milestone for Facebook” because it’s the first time the social network has acquired a product and company “with so many users”.

The Facebook CEO claims this will not be the first in series of purchases for Facebook, but says that “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”.

Instagram’s Twitter account confirmed the acquisition:

CEO Kevin Systrom said he “couldn’t be happier to announce that Instagram has agreed to be acquired by Facebook” and that his team was “psyched to be joining Facebook”.

He reiterated that Instagram “would not be going away” and that the company would “continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.”

Instagram has been around since late 2010 and won Apple’s iOS app of the year in 2011. It has around 30-million users, although it gained another million less than 24 hours after launching an Android version of its app.