Facebook, the world’s largest social networking company, has completed its acquisition of photo-sharing service Instagram.
Facebook revealed its plans to acquire Instagram in April this year, and now it announces the US$1 billion buyout is complete after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authorized the deal two weeks earlier.
The company reassured it will keep Instagram completely separate from its business operations.
“As we said from the beginning, we are committed to building and growing Instagram independently,” says Facebook in a blog 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.”
Instagram similarly praises the deal in its own blog, and reveals it has reached the five billion mark in shared photos.
“This is an exciting time for us – the community continues to grow and over 5 billion photos have now been shared through Instagram,” says Instagram in its post.
“What makes this more exciting is that our deal with Facebook has closed, which means we can now work together to evolve and build a better Instagram for everyone.
“While our team is making the short move to the Facebook offices, Instagram isn’t going anywhere. 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.”
Moreover, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom confirmed Facebook has officially acquired his photo-sharing service.
“We’re officially joining the Facebook family,” Systrom wrote in a post on Instagram.
“I’m psyched for the next chapter of this long journey.”
Systrom, who launched Instagram in 2010, admitted the service had yet to devise a workable business scheme, but accepted Facebook’s offer of a staggering US$1 billion.
After the announcement, Facebook started its initial public offering (IPO) in May, when the market saw its shares priced at $38 each.
Thereafter, Facebook shares spiraled downwards and now sell just under $19 apiece as of Thursday trading.
According to the WSJ, the sudden decline in the deal’s value came after Facebook’s stock decline when the social network was subjected to an alleged fairness hearing by the Department of Corporations in California last week.
On that proceeding, Systrom said he was unaffected by the drop in overall value of the deal.
“We still believe firmly in the long-term value of Facebook.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Systrom, who called last week’s discussions “a casual conversation” between young executives, both led the the deal’s completion.
“I want to personally thank everyone in the Instagram community for the last two years of inspiration,” Systrom wrote in his post Thursday.
“Here’s to the next two as well!”