Even though it's planning to launch its IPO later this year, that isn't stopping Facebook from making a truly monster deal. Today the company announced it would be acquiring Instagram, the company behind the popular photo editing and sharing app for iOS and Android devices, for a huge $1 billion price tag. The acquisition will be a combination of cash and Facebook stock and will officially close by the end of the second quarter.
Instagram launched on October 2010 for the iOS platform. The Android version was launched just last week; Instagram says it now has about 30 million registered users.
In his personal Facebook page, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook is "committed to building and growing Instagram independently." He adds:
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. These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram's experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook's strong engineering team and infrastructure.
Even though Facebook is making this particular deal, this will be a rarity for the company in terms of acquiring another business that has so many users, with Zuckerburg saying, "We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all."
Instagram's own CEO Kevin made his own blog post about the Facebook deal, saying:
It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience. 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.