Facebook have announced the acquisition of the photo sharing app Instagram for approximately $1bn (£630m) in a combination of cash and shares in Facebook. 

instagramInstagram was launched by San Fransisco based co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010. The app allows users to take photos via their mobile phone and then apply filters and share them to a variety of different social networks.

It took just three months for Instagram to reach 1 million users, since then the iPhone app has been downloaded over 30 million times. Instagram launched the android version of the app last week and reportedly had more than 1 million downloads within an hour of going live.

Mark Zuckerberg plans to keep the Instagram brand separate to Facebook, he said on his timeline:  “…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.”

Kevin Systrom said in a blog post, he will continue to work on the app, “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”.

Facebook is currently in the process of going public which could value it as $100bn, Magister Advisors, the London based technology advisory firm, says it could pose commercial challenge for network operators.

Lea Pachta

Lea Pachta