Facebook buys Instagram for $1 Billion and increases chances for Windows Phone


In a jaw-dropping deal that just took place, social network empire Facebook has bought photo-sharing hipster site Instagram for $1 billion in a combination of cash and Facebook shares.

Instagram as grown to be one of the largest mobile-photo sharing sites on the internet with 27 million users, almost exclusively due to the iPhone. Within the last week, the site finally launched their much anticipated Android client and it quickly shot up to the #1 free app under Social on the platform, showing just how popular it is amongst users. (In a funny blow-back, the über hipsters on iOS are evidently upset their retro-photo garden of Eden is being disrupted by the unruly 'Droid users, with some giving up the service. Yeah.)

However, one thorn in the side of Windows Phone is the fact that the Instagram service is unavailable to our audience. What's more, they evidently won't allow third-party access either, leaving us out in the dark. This deal, however frightening in size, is good news for Microsoft who own a 1.6% share of Facebook with a large investment made back in 2007 (when the young social network really needed the money and support). Even more recently, Bing search now shows up on the log-out page for the site and Bing Translator handles language translation within the network itself.

As a result, we can probably expect not only an Instagram client (assuming one is already not in the works) but a strategic alliance between Facebook and the photo-sharing network, perhaps giving Windows Phone a slight edge in the future. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially since Facebook and Google don't get a long very well.

Source: CNN Money; Additional info via GeekWire, CNN Money and ZDNet


Reader comments

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 Billion and increases chances for Windows Phone


I don't use Instagram, and I know it's a long shot, but what a selling point it would be to actually have Instragram integrated into the phone (as well as a separate app).

Which is fine. But it doesn't change the fact that 27 million users do (and that's going to increase) and the company was just bought for a staggering 1 billion dollars.

Simply put, you're in the minority if you don't use it.

I'm in the minority too but if the app is as great as people say is it, I'd be more than willing to use it but if it continues to give WP the cold sholder I won't bother.  
The way I look at the apps not available on WP is that I'm not missing out on much because its not difficult for me to miss what I never had.  Honestly I just don't spend that much time playing on my phone BUT it would be nice to have these options.

So there is 7 Billion people on the planet (give or take a few) and you claim if we aren't one of the 27 Million people using Instagram, we are the minority??? #smh

27 000 000 is not the majority, just saying. Instagram built in would be a fantastic addition to Windows Phone, even as someone who's not interested in it I think it'd be a great fit.

you mean let microsoft make a shitty app for them? but seriously how does this increase the chance of windows phone getting one. Facebook has no windows phone love.

"Facebook has no windows phone love."

We're the only mobile OS with built in native support for Facebook and you can say this with a straight face? Have you tried Facebook apps on Android or iOS? They're not eactly awesome either. The problem lies with Facebook's back end an API structure, not Microsoft.

After I just wrote how Microsoft has a large financial stake in the company, with Bing services (Mapping, translator, search) and Messenger all working with Facebook on a deep level and you don't think this isn't important for Microsoft?

Daniel - It's a good article, but I actually think you're looking at the relationship backwards. Facebook is happily successful without Windows Phone; Microsoft absolutely needed Facebook to remain relevant with WP, and even tries to one-up the others by building it into the OS.
Microsoft Live is an external application for Facebook, same as many others. (In other news - wow, I need to clean up app permissions for my Facebook account.) I'm not convinced that was any pull on Facebook's part, I'm betting it was all a push from MS to get tight integration with the service.
Facebook's purchase of Instagram is huge because it consolidates the social networks back to a few key players, is part of the "arms race" between Facebook, Google, and others, and shows that a service less than two years old can become that big, that fast.
MS needs Instagram because it is wildly popular. Even if you can make the app ecosystem argument shift away from app count to app quality (having the RIGHT apps, not necessarily the MOST apps), Instagram is a big hole for WP. Perhaps, with a sub-2% share, MS can bring some pressure to bear on Facebook, but I'm skeptical. I certainly wouldn't have made the leap that FB purchasing Instagram means a WP client is any closer to reality.

The issue is that MS made the API calls into Facebook to integrate. Hell, Facebook didn't even make it's own app, Microsoft did. iOS or Android could have similar functionality if they felt like they needed FB.
Your angle / argument about "the only mobile os with built in native support" would also apply to webOS since there is integration on that platform. Even Android supports similar OS integration (sharing, contacts, photos) once the FB app is installed.
I'm not trying to be a total Debbie Downer, though. The leverage this does provide for WP is that Facebook may open up the API. But, I'd place that somewhere below monetizing Instagram through ads on their priority list.

Daniel I love my windows phone but Facebook has done nothing for our phone. I have used facebook on Android and IOS, I feel the app is extremely more functional then windows phone app. I like the integration but for example there is is no time line support. Microsoft makes the app. I personally feel that it is insulting for Facebook not to take windows phone seriously. And I do not see why they will treat instigram any different.

See, my sister has moved from Android to Windows Phone and can't believe how much better the Facebook integration & the app are. I'd say we have one of the best platforms for it

I definitely agree... but this is coming from a person who rarely goes online for Facebook... One of the reason why I got a wp7.

Can anybody educated tell me why all the nagging on the Facebook integration in WP, its getting on my nerves and i feel like im missing out. I use it to read comments, look at a pic or a youtube clip, post some answers, post some photos. Now, what else are we expected to do on this thing? Im maybe not the most relevant guy since i refuse to have 4000 so called friends, and currently have 87 or something real friends and family. Is this why i cant see what's wrong with Facebook integrations, i have to few friends? When i bought my WP i bought a communication device, that was what MSFT left me feelin it was at least. Send and revive, voice and data, simple, easy to use, not all the fuzz with mezzy interfaces, that was what metro looked like to me, and it's going to be at a cost (feat), but a more pleasent experience therefore. If i need full experience, i do it from my PC, but for chatting and commenting, seems perfekt to me? Facebook chatt in WP feels superior to the original real deal (wich rocked for a week and then could'nt undock anymore and went from good to worse) Now you know how im thinking about it and if you all "haters" could enlighten me. Who knows what im missing out, maybe i should be mad/dissepointed/sad here?

People missing the point again if this does indeed speed up the arrival on WP it is good for the ecosystem regardless of whether I or anyone else use it or not.

Bingo. Glad you get it.

People are missing the big picture here. Doesn't matter what indivduals think or want, it's about the 27 million users and how Facebook and Google are at each other's throat.

We get the point... Most people are glad that it happened including me so it can come to our platform... But not everyone is into everything that is social that comes out wether it is a huge hit or not.

Seriously Daniel.. Don't insult your readers by saying "glad you get it" and no one else does? I would love windows phone to have this app. But your article states that Facebook buying instagam will speed up the development. People may just respectfully disagree. Look at Skype on windows phone still waiting for that integration. I think the app will come but i don't think this has sped up development.

Ty1361 he's not insulting anyone alot of people on here arnt getting the point so calm ur nanz -_- and while we still don't have Skype integrated we might not ever have it integrated had Microsoft not bought it. Its NEVER be integrated on ANY other platform now has it?

I don't know. I don't think he is being very open minded right now. He has instagram on the brain.
P.s. Thanks for not calling me a barnacle brain

i don't think you "get it"
the post you are replying to is saying how it is good for the ecosystem, not whether or not its coming out any sooner

what a complete and utter waste of money.  Its just an F-ing photo posting app!  Holy crap I smell dot com bubble 2.0

Well, Facebook brings in $3.8 billion annualy (and increasing) so it's one hugely profitable company buying one that makes no money.

In the end, this is about enhancing Facebook as a commodity over Google and their aspiring social-network plans. It's a brand name and honestly, it's kind of smart, though I admit, $1 billion is a lot!

Microsoft also purchased one hundred patents for $1 billion from AOL on social networking to protect Facebook.

Hey sometimes you have to spend to keep your edge over your competition. Overall I think it is a smart move for Facebook. Just hope it translate into a MS app or some kind of intergration.  It would be one less app people can't say wp7 don't have.

I do, too. There is just no way all these useless companies are worth so much. There is no way Apple, with only two products that aren't even necessities, is worth more than any other company on Earth. Something's got to give. I remember walking down my street a few years ago thinking, "There's no way these houses are worth $800,000." Now they're going for $500,000, which seems about right. It's amazing how hype can affect the entire world's economy.

Look for another iPhone exodus if WP gets Instagram. Photos from WP users can't possibly be as creative, deep or artsy as iPhone users, right?

Isn't it awful! Them having to put up with all us trash! My keyboard disappeared twice typing this, I'm about ready to get an iPhone.

Yeah im a bit irked that T-Mo has not rolled out this fix for the keyboard but luckily it doesn't happen often for me and I have a Venue Pro so I typically used my QWERTY anyway but the carriers really should have taken care of this.  Furthermore, MS needs to forced updated like Apple does althought I don't know what problems that would cause.

METROGRAM!!!! LET IT HAPPEN BABY!!! AND DO A WIDESCREEN instead of square ones.  LOL First skype now instagram.  Man, microsofts a genius.

Only in a time like today would something like this be so popular. I'm glad WP has a higher chance of getting it now, but I always cringe when I see people using Instagram on Facebook.

Nice! I have an instagram account through instacam & can't wait for it to get to windows phone. But I've really fallen in love with fhotoroom, an instagram alternative for us windows phone users.

I'd actually like to read more about iphone users abandoning the service because android got it, should be good for a laugh. Anyone got a link?

Wow, those comments are funny!
I didn't realize iPhone users saw InstaGram as their own little piece of heaven!

We don't use it because most still ser wp7 as a joke..ms is to blame for always being fast a sleep.even though wp7is much better overall than Android ms has that bad rap...

Is it me or does there seem to be an awful lot of hate in here today? Anyway I think it was a good idea to compliment there products in the long term.

I really don't get why this increases the chances of WP7!  
MS has only 1.5% of Faebook shares, MS has no power at all in the decision making. 

Sure they do. Just look at the alliance Microsoft and Facebook have with Bing (and related services) taking a large role in the Facebook system.

You have to understand that Google and Facebook are the big titans fighting for the social (FB has it, Google wants it). In other words there's an alliance between Facebook/Microsoft against Google with the former having a vested interest in keeping the latter down.

When you see Apple or Google's services taking larger role in Facebook over Microsoft, let me know. Till then, I think it's a safe bet that Facebook and Microsoft have common interests on the web (notice how MS hasn't started a social network to compete?).

I'm just glad Google didn't buy them. That would have been bad. For now, MS at least can have a voice with Instagram.

That's right. Fhotoroom is awesome. It's the same as Instagram (filters, community, posting to Facebook, ...) but on Windows Phone!!! It would be nice to see a review of the app on WPCentral to bring more people to the community!

Facebook r google ? I think Facebook would win people like facebook more take Facebook off ios and android i guaranty everyone will go to WP just like instagram people use it more then other apps of its kind and we need angry birds space

Facebook buying Instagram now gives Microsoft a direct say (however small) in pushing for an Instagram app (and potentially integration).  At the very least I think Microsoft can get Instagram's APIs and contract some 3rd party firm to develop a proper app, like they did with the WP7 FB app. 

Beyond that, I am 100% certain that an Instagram app would make its way to Windows 8, and fairly confident we could see integration as well.  Windows 8 has solid market potential, but Microsoft can tie access to that to integration with Windows Phone 8.  Besides, it's possible that WP would carve out respectable marketshare as solid 3rd, so conditioning WP to other MS products may not even be necessary.

People on here need to chill out. I don't use Instagram, but know loads of people do. If it becomes integrates, that's a huge, HUGE selling point for WP. To have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram baked into the OS without requiring a separate app? It would be the ultimate social phone that would indeed, "put people first".

Facebook + Instagram = good for Microsoft. Hopefully I will be able to share filtered photos via Facebook through my Windows Phone in the native app. It's like taking a picture from the Facebook app. Cuts down the number of steps.

MS couldn't even convince FB to develop a proper app for WP. WP is the only major Smartphone OS where FB still has no timeline support. So how do you think that MS has anything to say about Instagram. Also rememner that they said that Instagram devs like Metro much more than the iOS or Android UI. But still the first platform they ported the app over was not WP but Android....

Like most things, Instagram is so overrated. You take a good picture only to destroy it with odd filters.