At this point, it is old news: Facebook has bought photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. It’s the ramifications of this massive purchase – the largest in Facebook history – that will likely cause some ruckus. While the details of the actual buy-out haven’t yet come to light, experts are speculating that Facebook took hold of the popular photo sharing application Instagram, which found more than 1 million users downloading the free service in its first two years, to eliminate the competition.
Constantly innovating, Facebook is likely to amplify its user interface within the next year, and photo sharing apps for the iPhone and Android are likely to be part of this process. If the purchase, which doubled investment in a matter of minutes, was a surprise for anyone it’d likely be Instagram – the Bay Area company employs under 20 and hasn’t quite found an edge to advertisers over the years.
As likely the theory that Facebook is looking to control the photo sharing market, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote yesterday in a blog that his company will allow Instagram to remain an independent company. While this is a success for Instagram, hundreds of users were already severing ties with the popular app – Instagram was trending on Twitter yesterday when news broke, as were instructions on how to remove the program.
Instagram, who went public in October 2010, recently made some changes and finally announced at a tech conference that Android users would be offered the opportunity to turn their smartphone snapshots into works of art through resolution updates. The boys at Instagram (CEO Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger) promised nothing would change; Zuckerberg ensured users would still be able to share via Twitter, and wouldn’t be forced to Facebook share. But already too many followers are removing the popular application from their smartphones, and the fate of this iPhone app is unclear.