back to article Facebook to acquire Instagram for $1bn

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 …


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  1. Ru

    Smells like... the dotcom years again!

    Seriously, 1 beeeeeleon dollars for a company with no revenues, and no concrete plans to generate revenue, and 10-20 million users a significant proportion of which are probably Facebook users already?

    I just don't get it. Clearly this is why I have neither become a millionaire or managed to squander millions of dollars of investment capital.

    1. Daf L

      Re: Smells like... the dotcom years again!

      Truly astonishing price, for sure. But the value might not be of the company itself but of the anti-value it may pose to Facebook.

      It is a social network started from nothing that has gained popularity and a devoted following quickly - an inkling to investors that another social start up can become popular so quickly might cause the forthcoming stock price of Facebook to wobble.

      If Facebook can prove that they can own the competition then it might give investors more confidence.

      1. Blain Hamon

        Re: Smells like... the dotcom years again!

        Not only that, but note that it's a "$1bn cash-and-stock deal." What's undisclosed is how much of that was cash, how much of it was stock. I'd wager that a good majority of it was in stock at FB's ludicrous valuation, and not actual real money. Agreed, however, that it's dotcom insanity 2.0. Or is it 3.0? I keep losing track.

        Where'd the badger paws icon go?

      2. Ru

        Re: Smells like... the dotcom years again!

        I'm not wholly convinced by that argument. Instagram is essentially an epiphyte here; it has usefulness because it works with your existing social network(s) of choice. I'd be mildly startled if there were people who only socially networked by means of grainy square photos and nothing else.

        Remember the little kerfuffle over a twitter client last year? That was a case where the client userbase could have switched away from using twitter to any other similar mechanism and not noticed a difference, because it could perfectly replace their current experience. I'd be mildly startled if Instagram could have replaced Facebook in such a fashion and more than the latest incarnation of Angry Birds or any other massively popular application could.

        Pinterest is more of a threat to Facebook, but I guess it has a faint odour of massive copyright lawsuit waiting to happen, so the smart money might well be avoiding it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Instagram won't be solely a Facebook-centric service, he wrote. Instagram users will still be able to to post to other social networks"

    For now...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not saying Zuckerberg is a dumb guy..

    ...but he sure sounds like one every time he opens his mouth.

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    If the iWhatever fanbois were angy before...

    ...I can just imagine their guttural fury now.

  5. g e

    OMFG! Dude, seriously, WTF?

    First Android users, now Farcebork ownership

    It's been a rough few days for the baristas, errrr, creatives

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OMFG! Dude, seriously, WTF?

      I'd think a Google Employee would be worried. Facebook just got a nice set of mobile photo apps, Google's photo services have shit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMFG! Dude, seriously, WTF?

        Don't feed the troll

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMFG! Dude, seriously, WTF?

        Clearly you never heard of Pixel-O-Matic.

        It's Instagram, but with MUCH better and more plentiful filters (the latest update has loads of plugin packs for free). OK it's now owned by Google (it's owned by Autodesk), but the beauty of Android is that you can share it with whatever social network YOU want to use. Facebook, G+, Picasa, Flickr, Dropbox, or whatever the fuck you want to...

        Why would an app that could only share to two social networks be any good? The answer. It's not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OMFG! Dude, seriously, WTF?

          > Clearly you never heard of Pixel-O-Matic.

          > It's Instagram, but with MUCH better and more plentiful filters

          Clearly you never heard of Instagram. It's not about the filters.

          1. Craig McGill 1

            Re: OMFG! Dude, seriously, WTF?

            It's not about the filters? What is it then?

  6. Fibbles

    I know quite a few professional photographers but not any who use instagram so my knowledge of their current T&C's is nil. That said, I am wondering if they'll now adopt something similar to facebook's terms and conditions which is pretty unpleasant reading for anybody who has to make a living licensing/selling their IP.

    "For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it."

  7. Chris 171

    Targeted hipster purchase.

    Everything has a price I guess but the headline figure does seem a bit silly.

    I'm* an instagram user, because I'm worth it.... (to advertiSers)

    *third person obviously, I like a Rolleicord and Ektar for my square format fix thanks.

  8. Code Monkey

    $1bn buys a lot of grainy cat photos, it seems.

  9. eurobloke

    'Don't worry,' Zuckerberg says, 'we won't assimilate them'

    Sounds like the Borg. Is Facebook replacing Microsoft as the Borg company? I could imagine Zuckerberg with his Picard headset (à la Gates)

    Teminator - Well it is the nearest to the Borg.

  10. b166er

    RE 'creatives'

    don't you mean crayolas?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Oh well, there's another app I can now remove from my Android phone.

    I only just installed Instragram and now there's no point in having it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Darn...

      So, do you buy some music you've decided you enjoy listening to, but delete it when the band signs to a major label, as if that retroactively changes the quality of the existing music?

      I mean, I'm neither an iPhone nor FaceBook nor instagram user, but it seems bizarre to get an app, use it, -stop- using it in a fit of pique (how dare they!) when the founder so unreasonably decides to trouser four hundred million smackers, and then bemoan the situation as if it were all forced upon you.

      Am I missing something here?

      1. Cazzo Enorme

        Re: Darn...

        Am I missing something here?

        Perhaps the original poster is concerned about any upcoming changes to terms and conditions? That's the kind of grumbling I'm hearing from several camera wielding colleagues at work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Darn...

      Heh, the only reason I installed it was to allow me to post images to facebook without requiring the permission-scary facebook app.

      I'm sure the android/dolphin browsers used to let me upload images, facebook suddenly decided to remove support for them though.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that means any ugh, copyright that the users had on their own images now belongs to Facebook.

    The cycle of greed continues...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe not, I've just closed my account and deleted the images before FB change the T&C change to prevent it.

      Didn't really use it anyway...

  13. stanimir

    My 1st thought was - money laundering... and actually still is.

  14. ForthIsNotDead

    Image/Face recognition

    Well, they'll have fun tagging those photo's according to the photo's already posted on FB. They have the facial recognition technology, so that will be high on the list.

    FBI/CIA/MI5/MI6 will be salivating now....

  15. mosw
    Big Brother

    All your sign-ons will belong to us!

    Facebook wants signed in users not dollars. I think the objective will be to force users of this service to be signed into facebook, even when using it with another social network. The more users signed into facebook the better facebook can track your browsing activity, the more facebook can earn from your data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All your sign-ons will belong to us!

      Yeah, but as the article points out, insta has 'only' 30m users, most of whom are already on fb. If we assume only 60% already are, and all of the rest sign up, that's, what, (roughly) 13m or so new Fb users? When you already have a billion users, paying a billion dollars for 13m more would be a bizarre decision no matter how nutty you are. Is a single user really worth eight bucks?

      (Interesting side note - to do the ratio on my blackberry, I had to divide by 1000. BlackBerry's calculator is, inexplicably, incapable of displaying a number as large as the number of facebook users.

      1. mosw

        Re: All your sign-ons will belong to us!

        It is not uncommon to pay $1 per visit for well targeted web traffic through Google ads. With facebook's 2011 revenue supposed to be nearly 4 Billion dollars and assuming 500 million active fb users that is $8 per year per user. It is not unreasonable to pay $80 for an $8 per year return. I also assume that they see Instagram as being on a rapid growth curve.

      2. stanimir


        "paying a billion dollars for 13m more would be a bizarre decision no matter how nutty you are. Is a single user really worth eight bucks?"

        1000/13 ~ 77

        Did you mean 80?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maths?!

          "Did you mean 80?"

          Quite possibly. As I wrote above, I was forced to do some order-of-magnitude reduction thanks to my Torch's inability to comprehend numbers above 999,999,999. It's like I was using one of those ones from the '80s, where you got 12345678, and if you hit 2 * 2 enter enter enter too many times, eventually it would just say 'E'. And then you had to press the 'CE' button, which now I would assume would make the calculator CE compliant. But it didn't.

          We had a tornado hit our house once - true story. We had this little calculator, a Casio, in a flip back vinyl thing. This was in 1989 or something. The tornado tore the roof off our house, and sent a 20x20' chunk of it cartwheeling off down the lawn. It left big divots every 5 feet or so as each corner hit the ground, until it reached its final resting place under a large tree, which gave the roof section a two-foot-long dent as a reward.

          The calculator was on the kitchen table, and everything that was on the kitchen table essentially disappeared (along with a good deal of other things, but not our perennially angry cat; she was out on the second-floor porch, which got completely demolished, but showed up two days later with nary a scratch, and bitchy as ever).

          A week later, I was combing through the lawn (this lawn stretches out a quarter mile by an eighth mile or so) on a 'shit that used to be in our house' treasure hunt, when lo, I did find the calculator! It was a bit soggy, but what the hey. So I cleaned off the solar thing (what ever happened to solar calculators?), went CE CE CE, and there was 0. just like always. So:


          Tough little bastard of a calculator. A couple of years later it survived a 30 mile ride on the bumper of our Saab, in the rain.

          Then we lost it.

          Fucking hell. I mean, really? After all that?

  16. Tidosho

    Going down the Instapan!

    Jeez, Zuckerberg now has his hands on yet another established product, to save himself the time and effort of actually having to code it from the ground up. This will probably now end up like Facebook, its iPhone app, and the horrid timeline. Bloated, useless, horrible crashy junk.

    Zuckerberg probably DID steal or buy Facebook from somewhere, because in the last few years his clueless company have turned it into bloatware worse than buying a Toshiba laptop! he is clueless, ugly, and stoopid to boot. Instagram is pretty pointless and overcrowded anyway, once the novelty wears off it'll be just another forgotten one hit wonder.

    Companies these days have no drive! They simply buy out existing technology and call it their own (looking at you Facebook, Google, Microsoft et al), in my eyes it is cowardly and lazy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Going down the Instapan!

      "They simply buy out existing technology and call it their own..."

      Did you build your own computer, including the chips, and were you the architect and sole constructor of the fabs that made the chips?

      No - that would be insane. You buy parts from others that are more qualified to make them, so that you can focus on your overall task.

      Your position is called 'NIH' - "Not Invented Here" - and it's an excellent way to lose a ton of money and get eaten alive by your competitors. There's no dishonor in, say, our recognizing that we can't make servo amplifiers as reliably and cheaply as those who do it for a living. So we buy the servo amplifiers. If we made enough widgets using said servo amplifiers, it might make more sense to buy the servo amplifier company than it would to do all the R&D again, deal with all the teething issues, set up the physical facilities to build the things, and hire a whole bunch of people to do it all. Of course, if we were buying so many amplifiers that we'd consider building them ourselves in the first place, it probably means the servo amplifier place depended on us to a pretty large degree - so they might well go out of business.

      I don't see much of a case for what is essentially transferring a process from one building to another, but doing it by firing everyone in one building, building another one and a product entirely from scratch while the first one's product is tossed out with the bath water, and then hiring a bunch of OTHER people to run the NEW thing.

      Whether or not Zuckerberg is justified in this acquisition aside, acquisitions aren't "lazy" or "cowardly" - and even if they were, I'm guessing that those words are synonyms for 'costs less' and 'less risky'. Sorry, but those two things are a driving force of business. If you think that efficiency and careful planning are moral negatives, then business is the wrong business for you. As are a lot of other things. I'm not sure where avoiding those two would actually be beneficial. Right now all I've got is: barbarian, gangbanger, and Klingon. And maybe not even gangbanger, at least, not the good ones.


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