In a move that is likely to have widespread repercussions in the world of social media, Facebook, the social network, has purchased Instagram, a free mobile photo-sharing app for $1 billion.
Instagram has been around for just over a year and a half and is already worth more than most companies today. The popular photo-sharing app allows users to takes pictures from mobile phones and instantly posts them to the user’s Facebook or Twitter profile, or both. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom owned 40 percent of Instagram prior to this sale and will likely net a cool $400 million.
Increasingly, Facebook is becoming the repository for the world’s photographs. With over 150 billion photos hosted, Facebook users add millions of photos daily. It makes sense for an app that merely streamlines this to be placed at such a high value. Facebook is trying to increase its assets before becoming a publicly traded company later this year when it will offer its first stock options.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the following comment on his own Facebook page following the announcement:
“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”
While this move will not likely have a dramatic effect on UVU students, the media consolidation will affect how students submit mobile photos on Facebook. It is also likely that Instagram, although part of the Facebook family, will continue to operate under the same conditions as it currently does, only with a new sign on the door: “Under new management.”
By John Carlsen