How's this for a pre-IPO present? Facebook will finally get to buy Instagram.
After a failed attempt to buy the photo sharing app last year, Facebook has struck a deal to buy Instagram for $1 billion in cash and shares.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the acquisition on his Facebook Timeline.
"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," he said.
Zuckerberg promised not to cut off Instagram, which will remain a standalone app, from other social networks.
"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," he said.
Facebook, which is set to go public next month, had tried to buy Instagram last summer but was unsuccessful, The New York Times reported.
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More than 30 million people around the world use Instagram to share photos they've edited with the app's filters.
Instagram was likely valued at about $500 million when Facebook made the deal, Venture Beat said.
But since Google also tried to buy Instagram, Facebook had to up the ante.
"The reality is [Instagram] was going to be worth whatever Mark Zuckerberg felt like paying for it," TechCrunch said.
GigaOm suggested Facebook was scared of its competition. "For first time in its life it arguably had a competitor that could not only eat its lunch, but also destroy its future prospects," GigaOm founder Om Malik wrote.
Naturally, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said the small San Francisco-based company "couldn’t be happier" about the deal.
Of course, he'll take home about $400 million as a result of the deal, according to Wired.
Some Instagram users, meanwhile, aren't in such a good mood.
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