By 10 April 2012 | Categories: news


Easily one of the more notable acquisitions of this year so far, Facebook has announced that it is in the process of acquiring photo-sharing app Instagram.

The pricetag? A cool $1 billion (R7.6 billion), made up of a combination of cash and Facebook shares. The transaction will also see the social media giant absorbing Intagram’s team.

“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,” explained Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive officer of Facebook.

Reassurances, offered

Zuckerberg went on to reassure that the acquisition will still maintain the integrity of the popular app, continuing that the company would keep and build on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

“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,” he added.

Kevin Systrom, the chief executive officer of Instagram, pointed out on the company’s blog that Instagram was  not “going away”.
“The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you.You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique,” he stressed.
Additionally, users can expect new features to be added, as the company aims to create a “better mobile photos experience.”
Impact explained
While some users may worry that the acquisition would exclude other social networks, Zuckerberg further reassured that this was not the case.  

“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 clarified.

However, according to a social media consultant quoted by the International Business Times, the move is certainly a strategic one.

Aram Zucker-Scharff, a social media consultant at George Mason University's Office of Student Media, pointed out that the acquisition effectively prevents the popular photo sharing app from ever being acquired by and incorporated into Google+. He noted that this would have been “immensely beneficial” to Google’s competing social network.  

However, GigaOm’s Om Malik asserts that the acquisition has more to do with preventing Instagram itself from becoming more of a competitor, pointing out that the mobile app had successfully attacked Facebook’s Achille’s heel, namely of mobile photo sharing.

Backlash begins

And yet, if the reaction to Facebook's Instagram’s acquisition is any indication, the move may very well backfire on both Instagram and Facebook.

Many users, apparently upset about Facebook having access to even more of their data, have taken to Twitter, pledging to delete their Instagram accounts and advising others on how to do so.

However, the question remains whether this will slow down or even marginally affect Facebook’s plans for Instagram, or only make the social media giant even bigger and more unstoppable than before.   


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