Facebook has announced that it will acquire photo-sharing service Instagram in a $1bn cash-and-stock deal.
"I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement announcing the acquisition of what the release referred to as the "fun, popular photo-sharing app for mobile devices."
Zuckerberg said that Facebook will not merely borg Instagram into the Facebook brand. "We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook," he wrote, noting that his company is "committed to building and growing Instagram independently."
Instagram won't be solely a Facebook-centric service, he wrote. Instagram users will still be able to to post to other social networks, and if an Instagram user doesn't want to share his or her photos on Facebook, that's okay with Zuckerberg. Intagram users will also still be able to follow, and be followed, separately from their Facebook presence.
"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," Zuckerberg wrote.
And possibly in a note to moneymen thinking of participating in Facebook's impending IPO, he cautioned against speculation about other acquisitions. "We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all," he said. ®