Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion

SOCIAL networking giant Facebook secures another foothold on the mobile platform, buying the popular photo-sharing app Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. Sarah Lim reports.

Graphics by: Marcus Huang

In one of it’s biggest acquisitions yet, Facebook has bought over the wildly popular photo-sharing mobile application Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock, according to TechCrunch.

While this may  seem like a smart move and a matter-of-course for the online social network giant to gain a stronger foothold on the mobile platform and secure its hold on data-sharing, some of the 30 million Instagram users made their thoughts clear over the Internet.

Within minutes of this shocking announcement, users on Twitter erupted in anger, many threatening to delete their Instagram accounts.

And within hours, tech websites have already posted methods on how users can save their Instagram data, for example, using Instaport.

For Instagram users who are paranoid that Facebook the Nosey may invade their privacy by digging into their Instagram account, The Next Web shows users how to delete their Instagram account after saving all their data.

Most of the comments on Twitter are on the matter of whether Instagram will change now that they have been bought by Facebook, the company who constantly alters the system of social networking.

This is a valid point, considering the majority of online users dislike change, period. Like the flurry of status update complaints everytime Facebook changes the layout of users profile pages, and so on. Or like the uproar that erupted when Google removed YouTube’s “five star” ratings format in 2010 to an option between “like or dislike”, because Facebook already had this format set in stone.

Like everything else in life, change is inevitable, whether there is a buy-over happening or not. The internet is forever evolving, and this merger between Facebook and Instagram is, simply put, a business proposition. Both CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom have attempted to assure users of this photo-sharing app that they need not be worried.

Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook timeline, “We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook. That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently.”

Systrom also posted on the Instagram blog, “It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love.”

At first glance, these comments carry the familiar whiff of PR speak, but it is unlikely that these statements were made just to calm enraged users. With more than 30 million Instagram users to date, it’s safe to say that Zuckerberg and his team will do all they can to maintain if not improve on one of the world’s most widely used photo-sharing app.

Launched on October 6, 2010, Instagram was the first of its kind; a simple yet smart and classic photography app that was developed by a company that currently has only 13 employers.

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