Yup, Facebook has just dropped $1 billion in order to acquire the popular photo-sharing app Instagram. Announced for Android less than a week ago and continuing to rise in popularity, Instagram went from an iPhone exclusive with 30 million members to a cross-platform service with more than 31 million members.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just announced the purchase and confirmed that Instagram’s team will join the company. Facebook will not directly get in the way of the product, choosing instead to let Instagram grow “independently” and not working to “integrate everything into Facebook.”
Instagram will not force members to post photos to Facebook and will continue working towards exporting to multiple social networks. Facebook will offer behind-the-scenes resources to the Instagram team in order to make it a better product. A few benefits I can see coming from this is better exporting Instagram photos into Facebook. The post window might have more options for posting multiple photos, tagging friends, or adding location using Facebook’s set-up.
“It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said about the announcement. “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.”
An acquisition was inevitable for Instagram, but Facebook being the company to open its checkbook is a bit disappointing. The company acquired and then killed group messaging app Beluga, and I found that service to be far more useful and enjoyable than Instagram. One can only hope history doesn’t repeat itself here.
On related Instagram news, the app recently updated yet again to include tablet and Wi-Fi only support. Now you can add it to more devices and you’ll be able to apply filters to your images. If you end up taking a really good one, you might win a 12 x 12 canvas print.