“One Billion Dollars,” is the kind of thing you’d hear from the lips of Dr. Evil from an Austin Powers movie. But today for the folks over at Instagram, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sounds more like the Easter Bunny than an evil-doer on this holiday Monday, as he announced that Facebook will be buying Instagram for the tune of approximately that same amount – $1 billion. And that’s a lot of eggs.
Facebook announced that the purchase price is to be made up of a combination of both cool hard cash and shares with the deal expected to close later this quarter.
Instagram is a popular fun and free iOS app (and just recently released for Android), which allows you to share photos you take or have in your library with popular sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous. Like other social networking sites, you also have the ability to follow other Instagram users and they can follow you. The app also allows you to like and comment on photos as well as offers the ability to add filters and special effects to your pics before you share them.
Zuckerberg Shares on his Timeline
Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the deal on his timeline. In his post, he says that while Facebook focuses on the experience of sharing photos with friends and family, that bringing Instagram into the fold will help expand the experience of sharing mobile photos with people based on their interests.
Zuckerberg believes that Facebook and Instagram, offer two different photo sharing experiences but they actually complement each other, going on to say that they will build and grow the acquisition independently of Facebook. He also sees Instagram’s strength is its connectivity to other services, a tradition he wants to continue.
Sharing on Facebook not Mandatory
In a surprising move, Zuckerberg states that Instagram users will still have the ability not to share their Instagrams on Facebook, the world’s largest social network, and still have their own outside followers.
According to the man himself, the acquisition of a company with an app with millions of users is an important milestone for Facebook and something that’s never been done and may not be in the future.
“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,” says Zuckerberg.
He does not discuss any financial considerations, but closes by sharing one motivation behind the acquisition.
“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.”
Seeing this marriage unfold will certainly make for an interesting timeline!
photos courtesy: Facebook, iTunes, Instagram
Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.
Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg.