Facebook has agreed to acquire photo sharing service Instagram. Two-year-old Instagram offers iOS and Android apps for taking photos, adding effects and then sharing the results online.
Instagram is expected to continue as an independent application. In a blog post, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said “The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you. 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.”
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg also emphasised the continuing independence of Instagram. He announced the acquisition by saying “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.”
Facebook described the deal as being worth approximately $1 billion in a combination of cash and Facebook shares. Over 30 million people have downloaded the Instagram app.