Facebook Buys Instagram Over Protests Of Some Users

Facebook has acquired Instagram, a popular photo-sharing app, for $1 billion (£630m).

“We couldn’t be happier to announce that Instagram has agreed to be acquired by Facebook,” Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom wrote in a 9 April blog post.

30 million users

“I’m excited to share… that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook,” chief executive Mark Zuckerberg posted an hour earlier.

Instagram has approximately 30 million active users, and Zuckerberg noted that it was the first and possibly last time it would ever acquire a company with so many users.

“We don’t plan on doing many more of these [acquisitions], if any at all,” he wrote.

Surely setting some minds at ease, Zuckerberg explained that Instagram users will have the option to not share Instagram photos on Facebook, and the ability to “have followers and follow people separately from your Friends on Facebook”.

“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience,” Zuckerberg added. He went on to say that Facebook understand what’s important to the Instagram experience, and that it will try to learn from Instagram’s experience and build similar features into its programs, while also helping Instagram “continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure”.

Android app

On 6 April, Instagram announced that it was finally opening its world to Android, in addition to Apple iOS users. In half a day, the Android app was downloaded by more than one million users.

“When we started Instagram, we tried to image what the world would be like if every single person on earth could share the world around them through the lens on their phones,” the company announced on its blog. “With the release of Instagram for Android, we’re one step closer to making that goal a reality.

Systrom, in his 9 April post, added that Instagram will remain the same app that its users know and love.

“You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you,” Systrom wrote. “You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.”

Not all users appeared to be convinced. When the Android-app launched, it besmirched the Instagram brand for some users. “They’re saying how it’s uncool now, because Android is uncool,” analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK at the time. “Who are these teenage girls?”


Some of Instagram’s users have given the same unfavourable reaction to Facebook’s acquisition, according to Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

Shortly after the news broke, he Tweeted a screenshot of an instant message from his 12-year-old daughter. “It ruins the purpose of instagram! OMGosh!!!!” she wrote, complete with crying emoticons.

“How does it ruin it?” he asked. “BECAUSE FACEBOOK IS STUPID AND FOR OLD PEOPLE AND IT WILL CHANGE INSTAGRAM,” she wrote, with more crying emoticons.

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Michelle Maisto

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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