Top tech headlines: Facebook’s Instagram acquisition, Google+ redesign

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Facebook acquires photo sharing app Instagram

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending April 13 include Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, Google’s first quarter results and stock split, the US’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Googe+ gets a makeover, and Apple battles with Flashback malware.

Facebook buys Instagram, users complain
Facebook announced that it had agreed to acquire photo sharing iPhone and Android app Instagram for a reported $1 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the acquisition will help the social network provide better photo sharing experiences for its users, but many Instagramers said they were concerned about the privacy implications.

Google first quarter results and stock split
Google announced that it had a “another great quarter with revenues up 24% year on year” during its first quarter earnings call. The company said it had plans to create “a new class of non-voting capital stock,” a move that would effectively result in a two-for-one stock split for investors. Google's CEO also noted that Google+ had become the company’s “social spine” and was growing quickly with already over 170 million users.

US files antitrust lawsuit against Apple over e-book pricing
The United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Apple and five other major book publishers alleging that they were conspiring to fix e-book prices. Three of the e-book publishers have already settled out of court but Apple and book publishers Macmillan and Penguin will fight the charges in a landmark court case. At the same time Amazon is planning to cut the price of e-books on its site down to $9.99.

Google+ gets a design refresh
Google unveiled a completely new user interface for its growing social network Google+. The changes sparked a site-wide discussion about the minimal new design and gave birth to the #usesforwhitespace meme. The #usesforwhitespace meme went viral on the site after users who were perplexed by the large amount of white space Google has left on the right hand side of the site started posting pictures of the ways in which the space could be used.

Apple releases Flashback malware removal tool
Apple released multiple Java updates this week in the wake of the Flashback malware that reportedly infected more than 600,000 Macintosh computers worldwide. Bloggers posted how-to articles that explained how to check your Mac to see if it was infected and detailed “everything you need to know about the Flashback trojan.” Later in the week Apple released a Java security update that “removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware” and recommended that users disable the Java web plug-in on their browser.