Social Network Behemoth Facebook Announces Instagram Acquisition

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Social media giant Facebook has announced its acquisition of the popular photo sharing platform Instagram. The acquisition should be complete later this quarter, with Facebook paying $1 billion in cash and shares for ownership. According to a statement released on behalf of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the Instagram experience serves as a great “complement” to social networking activities conducted via Facebook.

Instagram was introduced to devices running the Apple iOS mobile operating system in 2010. Since that time, the popular service has amassed followers from across the globe, with more 30 million users now actively sharing photographs. More than a billion photographs have been uploaded to the Instagram servers according to statistics from the company, with an additional 5 million photos added each and every day.

While the photo sharing application has been limited to iOS users for some time, an Android version of the app was recently released. This brought the Instagram experience cross-platform for the first time. More than one million Android users downloaded the app within the first 24 hours of its release.

According to the statement released by Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to continue development of Instagram as a separate brand, rather than attempting to integrate it within the Facebook experience. In order to accomplish this effectively, the social network’s CEO notes the “need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features.” There are also no plans to remove Instagram’s compatibility with other social networks. Presently, Instagram photographs are instantly made available on the user’s feed, with options for external sharing encompassing popular sites like Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.

Instagram has received numerous accolades and awards since its initial release, including Apple’s coveted “App of the Year” award for 2011. As the company prepares to transition to a new stage of development as a subsidiary of Facebook, the existing team from Instagram will become part of the social network’s staff. As for Facebook’s direct involvement, Zuckerberg has made it evident that the well-known company will do its best to use its clout to “spread this app and brand to even more people,” while respecting the platform as an entity of its own.

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