When it rains it pours. White-hot social photo service Instagram just released its much-awaited Android app at long last, and now the company has just dropped an even bigger bomb. Instagram will be acquired by none other than social behemoth Facebook to the tune of $1 billion.
The news hit in tandem blog posts from Facebook and Instagram. Both posts suggest that the former company seeks to keep the Instagram we know and love rather than re-branding it altogether, thought we can expect to see sepia-toned photos woven even deeper into the fabric of our Facebook lives. According to Instagram, "It's important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We'll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We'll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience."
Instagram is a wildly popular social network for phone photographers, but it's a uniquely mobile social media experience. While most web services of the sort launch of the web first and add an app after the fact, Instagram's network is solely accessible through the apps for Android and iOS. Though an unofficial web portal will let you peek at photos, and you can view individual images that are directly linked, you can only comment, like, and share through the app — for the moment, that is.
While today's whopping $1 billion acquisition comes as a bit of a surprise, in many ways, it makes perfect sense. Facebook went well out of its way to deeply integrate Instagram photos in its Timeline resdesign, letting users embed them full-width and tag them just like photos uploaded straight to Facebook. The company even had plans to add its own photo filters after reportedly failing to acquire Instagram in 2011. With news of the acquisition, it looks like Facebook will serve as the social app's long-lost web platform, while Instagram will pepper our Facebook feeds with even more of our friends' faux-vintage masterpieces.
This article originally appeared on Tecca
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