After months of negotiations, Facebook and Instagram have finalized a deal officially making photo sharing the latest addition to the social media behemoth’s ever-growing list of services.
The deal was announced Thursday, although it is believed to have closed on August 31. After reviewing it for nearly four months, the Federal Trade Commission finally approved the deal — which was once worth $1 billion, but whose closing valuation was worth around $715 million — in late August.
The newly-merged companies both acknowledged the deal in blog posts on their respective websites, each expressing excitement about what the future will bring.
“As we said from the beginning, we are committed to building and growing Instagram independently,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s VP of Engineering, said in his post. “Instagram will continue to serve its community, and we will help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure. We also can’t wait to work with the talented Instagram team to improve the mobile experience.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting future with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.”
In their blog post, the Instagram team reassured users that the service will continue to work as it always has.
“While our team is making the short move to the Facebook offices, Instagram isn’t going anywhere,” the post read. “The Instagram app and its features will stay the same one you know and love, and we’ll keep working together to build a better Instagram for everyone.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered some details on how the companies would work together in an April post about the then-newly announced acquisition plans.
“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,” he wrote. “These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products.”
Since expanding to the Android platform in April, Instagram’s user count has ballooned by an average of ten million users a month, according to CNET, bringing the current number of registered users to over 80 million. Zuckerberg said in the aforementioned post that this is “the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users” and that they “don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.” He said that the Instagram acquisition was an important one, though, and that the merger would be worth it.
Only time will tell if that proves true.[Props: LA Times/TechCrunch]