Facebook announced it is buying the photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion (U.S.) in cash and stock, its biggest acquisition yet. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the world’s largest social networking website made the announcement on on his Facebook profile on Monday. The announcement comes about a month from Facebook’s expected IPO launch.
Instagram is a popular photo-sharing service for mobile phones introduced in 2010. The service allows its 30 million users to apply different filters for photos shot using cell phone cameras, and quickly share them on social networking sites and other online-sharing services such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Flickr.
Initially offered as an application for iPhone users only, Instagram became available for an Android users just last week. Zuckerberg said in his post that his plans for Instagram include keeping users’ ability to share photos in other non-Facebook networks. He noted that it’s not going away, despite what happened to other relatively small services purchased by Facebook in the recent past, as Jenna Wortham of the New York Times points out.