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Facebook Buys Instagram For A Billion Dollars

Today my social streams exploded with the news: Facebook announced the purchase of Instagram. For the small price of ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

Yes, one billion.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the news.

“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.”

So why was Facebook willing to shell out so much in cash and stock for the photo sharing site? This Guardian article asks several industry professionals that question, and it’s likely that Robert Scoble’s response is spot on here.

“Today Facebook has NO revenues from mobile. None. That’s amazing, since so many people, hundreds of millions of us, use Facebook on mobile clients.That will change very quickly after the IPO. Instagram will play a huge role here, plus Facebook gets a very talented mobile development team that has built world-leading mobile apps on iOS and Android (which got a million users in its first day).”

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that after the Android app release last week, Instagram now has more than 30 million users.

The news isn’t making everyone happy. In my Instagram feed I saw plenty of people bemoaning the news and worrying about how it was going to impact the site (you can get a fair sample of people upset about Facebook’s purchase of their beloved Instagram here). One particularly distressing bit of news, of course, is that will mean that Facebook will now own your Instagram photos, as is noted here in Gigaom:

Instagram’s Terms of Use states explicitly, “Remember, Instagram doesn’t own the images – Instagram users do.”

What do you think? Will Facebook ruin Instagram? Will Facebook change the Instagram experience? Let us know in the comments.

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