Social Network picks up photo tinkering app Instragram for a cool $1 bn.
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And lets hope the gamble pays off considering the young start up, founded in 2010, has yet to make a cent (its free to download) although boasts 30 million global users including President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber.
The deal was announced earlier today, confirmed by an “excited” chief Zuckerberg:
“We’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook,” Facebook CEO said in a blog post.
Just a week ago the popular photo sharing app was unleashed to Android’s Play Store and is also on iPhone.
The free “easy as pie” application allows people to edit and tinker with their photos with tools such as tints, themed backgrounds, and can even make them look like Polaroids by applying a white border. Instagram can be filtered and shared to its new owner Facebook, as well as Twitter and Tumblr.
Instagram say they have “reinvented” photo sharing and it looks like Zuckerberg too thinks imaging is the next big thing and will help keep its 800 million plus Facebookers interested:
“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.”
But it looks like Instagram, founded by Stanford graduates Kevin Systrom (CEO) and Mike Krieger, will be operated independently of the social network and will not change post-Facebook deal.
“We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook,” says Zuckerberg, although said it will learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into its “other products.”
“Our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”
Facebook don’t plan on blocking rivals like Twitter or Google + access to the photo app either, and will allow users not share Instagram pics on Facebook if users wish.
“At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.”
Zuckerberg recognises the $1bn deal is an “important milestone” for Facebook “because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users” and calls to mind Google $1.65b purchase of Youtube in 2006.
He also said Facebook “don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. “
“But 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.”