Facebook Buys Instagram For $1B
The photo-sharing company Instagram has been purchased by social networking site Facebook for a cool $1 billion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his Facebook page two days ago.
The 28-year-old billionaire said the acquisition is an important milestone in Facebook, making it the first company it acquired with a huge user base. He explained that Instagram will remain an independent company and its features will be kept intact.
Instagram has gained a mass following when it was launched in October 2010. The application was created by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. It allows people to share the photos they took from their mobile devices. Different features and effects can also be applied like frames, colors, Polaroid-look, etc.
Facebook will pay cash and stocks to Instagram. It will also keep its roughly 13 employees.
The purchase doesn’t sit well with some tech industry observers, saying user privacy may be compromised. Deborah Mitchell said that the acquisition will allow advertisers and marketers to have an easier access to personal information. Mitchell is the Center of Brand and Product Management director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik, meanwhile, said Facebook will have a bigger and stronger foothold on smart phones. It echoed Mitchell’s concern that privacy might be at risk.
By the end of 2011, Instagram had more than 10 million users with more than 150 million photos uploaded. Just a few days ago, Instagram announced the release of its Android version in Google Play.
Tech giant Apple named Instagram the 2011 App of the Year.