It’s been an absolutely massive week for social photography app Instagram. Less than a week after it finally launched on Android, Facebook has announced that it is paying one billion dollars to acquire the company.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg announced the takeover overnight, taking great pains to emphasise that the acquisition won’t turn the popular app into a Facebook only app. With over 25 million customers and only 10 or so employees, there’s no doubt that Instagram has a massive power to weight ratio, which is obviously something the Facebook team would want to bring into its giant company.
While many Instagram users are doubtful about whether Facebook’s influence will leave the app as joyful to use as it has been, there’s also the possibility that Instagram’s simplicity and ease of use will translate over to the world’s most prevalent social network.
Here’s Zuck’s full statement:
I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.
For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. 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.
We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.
That’s why 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.
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.
This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We 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.
We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.
Do you use Instagram? What do you think about the acquisition?