Today was a historic day for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, as it marked the first time that the social site has acquired another hugely-popular (and possibly one day competitive) website or program. Through a statement posted to Facebook today, Zuckerberg announced that the popular mobile photo-sharing app Instagram will soon become an integrated part of Facebook. Instagram is a popular smart phone app that allows users to instantly edit and share photos that they take with their cell phones. From Zuckerberg’s statement:
“I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook. For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. 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.”
Before Instagram fans everywhere get upset about it, both Zuckerberg and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom have assured users that much of the program will remain the same and that it will still be possible to use and enjoy the app without any relation to Facebook. In fact, Zuckerberg has promised to maintain Instagram’s ability to post to social networks other than Facebook, such as Twitter. Writes Zuckerberg:
“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.”
So any anti-Facebook Instagram users out there can breathe a sigh of relief. Still, this important acquisition by Facebook begs the question: if the company can spend $1 billion (in cash and stock) to buy Instagram, what up-and-coming program or website can’t the company buy? Could this be the beginning of a spending spree, in which Facebook ends up snatching up every promising social-media style website that pops up? Zuckerberg tried to put the kibosh on that sentiment as well:
“This is an important milestone for Facebook because 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.”
Each day it seems more and more that the end goal for Facebook is to allow users to do everything on the internet without ever leaving the social networking site. Recently, the site made it possible to stream some movies straight from Facebook.