Facebook Snaps Up Instagram for $1 Billion
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The way Facebook and Instagram tell it, it s unclear who did the proposing and who said "I do." What is clear is that the social-networking site is purchasing the photo-sharing app for $1 billion.
"We couldn t be happier to announce that Instagram has agreed to be acquired by Facebook," Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom wrote in an April 9 blog post.
"I'm excited to share ... that we ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an hour earlier.
Instagram has approximately 30 million active users, and Zuckerberg noted that it was the first and possibly last time it would ever acquire a company with so many users.
"We don t plan on doing many more of these acquisitions , if any at all," he wrote.
Surely setting some minds at ease, Zuckerberg explained that Instagram users will have the option to not share Instagram photos on Facebook, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your Friends on Facebook.
"We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience," Zuckerberg added. He went on to say that Facebook understand what's important to the Instagram experience, and that it will try to learn from Instagram's experience and build similar features into its programs, while also helping Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook's strong engineering team and infrastructure.
On April 6, Instagram announced that it was finally opening its world to Android, in addition to Apple iOS users. In half a day, the Android app was downloaded by more than 1 million users.
"When we started Instagram, we tried to imagine what the world would be like if every single person on earth could share the world around them through the lens on their phones," the company announced on its blog. "With the release of Instagram for Android, we're one step closer to making that goal a reality."
Systrom, in his April 9 post, added that Instagram will remain the same app that its users know and love.
"You'll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you," Systrom wrote. "You'll still be able to share to other social networks. And you ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique."
Is everyone convinced?
When the Android app launched, it besmirched the Instagram brand for some users.
"They're saying how it s uncool now, because Android is uncool," analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK at the time. Who are these teenage girls?
Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, has an idea. Shortly after the news broke, he tweeted a screenshot of an instant message from his 12-year-old daughter.
"It ruins the purpose of instagram! OMGosh!!!!" she wrote, complete with crying emoticons.
"How does it ruin it?" he asked.
"BECAUSE FACEBOOK IS STUPID AND FOR OLD PEOPLE AND IT WILL CHANGE INSTAGRAM." More crying emoticons.
Some focus-grouping might have caught that one. Still, if Zuckerberg and Systrom stay true to their words and little changes, maybe they'll win her over.