Facebook buys photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 bn

Facebook is not waiting for its initial public offering to make its first big purchase

Written by New York Times | New York | Published: April 10, 2012 1:49 am

EVELYN M RUSLI

Facebook is not waiting for its initial public offering (IPO) to make its first big purchase.

In its largest acquisition to date,the social network has purchased Instagram,the popular photo-sharing application,for about $1 billion in cash and stock,the company said Monday.

It’s a notable move for Facebook,which has exclusively focused on bite-size acquisitions,worth less than $100 million.

With Instagram,Facebook will get a formidable mobile player — an area that is seen as a weakness for the sprawling social network. Founded two years ago,the service — which lets users share photos and apply stylised filters — has become one of the most downloaded applications on the iPhone,with some 30 million users. Instagram released a version of its application for Google’s Android operating system last week.

On Monday,both companies expressed their commitment to run Instagram as an independent service. In a post on his profile page,Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg said Instagram would continue to work with rival social networks. That will allow users to post on other services,follow users outside of Facebook,and to opt out of sharing on Facebook.

“For years,we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Zuckerberg wrote. “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.”

In a separate blog post on Instagram’s web site,the company’s chief executive,Kevin Systrom,also reiterated plans to preserve the service’s functionality and said he looked forward to leveraging the new parent company’s resources and talent.

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