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Wow - Facebook Acquires Instagram!

InstagramWow... here's one that I don't think most (any?) of us saw coming - Facebook has acquired photo-sharing service Instagram!

It's interesting to note Mark Zuckerberg's focus on the continued separate growth of Instagram:

That's why we're committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

Time will tell how that will work out, but it will be intriguing to see what the acquisition enables on both sides. It will also be interesting to see the reaction of the Instagram user community...

Kara Swisher at AllThingsD and Emily Price at Mashable are both reporting that the acquisition price was $1 billion USD in cash and shares.

What do you think? Smart move for Facebook? Good or not so good for Instagram users?

UPDATE #1 - TechCrunch is reporting that Instagram received a $50 million investment with a $500 million valuation just last week. And the best response I've seen has to be this one by a woman named Tonya Hall on Facebook:

Remember this day. 551-day-old Instagram is worth $1 billion. 116-year-old New York Times Co. $967 million.

Crazy times, indeed!

UPDATE #2 - Interesting view from Om Malik - "Here is why Facebook bought Instagram"

UPDATE #3 - Some good answers to the Quora question about the Instagram acquisition

P.S. In full disclosure, I do have an Instagram account (danyork) but I have so far only ever posted one photo to it, preferring instead to still use Flickr, although that may change.

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