Facebook completes Instagram deal, reaffirms commitment to mobile app

Social networking giant announced intentions to acquire Facebook for a staggering $1 billion back in April, pending customary regulatory approval. Following its careful and thorough review, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cleared the way for the transaction last month.

The deal was subsequently valued at around $747.1 million, $300 million in cash and 22,999,412 shares of Facebook common stock. As the deal is now closed, the Instagram team will relocate to the Facebook offices. Don’t worry, they will continue to develop and enhance the Instagram app we’ve all grown to love…

The Instagram team noted as much in today’s blog post:

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.

Facebook also reassured in a blog post that the Instagram app won’t be going anywhere:

As we said from the beginning, we are committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Instagram will continue to serve its community, and we will help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

The recently pushed update to the Instagram app makes good on that promise, bringing out integration with Facebook likes, hashtags, revamped profile tabs and a bunch of other enhancements and nice-to-haves.

The social networking behemoth, which counts over 900 million users, says it “can’t wait to work with the talented Instagram team to improve the mobile experience”, perhaps referring to its recently rewritten mobile client for iOS.

Also, this:

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.

I take it that by “all of the great new experiences” Facebook means that the Instagram team will be helping them improve upon Facebook’s photo sharing features, perhaps by seamlessly integrating the Instagram service into the social network.

Not that it would necessarily work out: not everyone likes Mark Zuckerberg or has a Facebook account.

Furthermore, Instagram owes much of its popularity to the hassles-free photo sharing, its popular image filters and the fact that images are shared in low-res, which makes it usable even on 2G cellular connections.

In case you’ve been wondering, people have shared over five billion photos on Instagram to date.

Now that Instagram is available on Android (prompting Apple’s Phil Schiller to stop using it), that figure is bound to grow even more rapidly.

After all is said and done, people are still going to want to share photos outside of the walled garden that is Facebook. For that, Instagram remains the #1 choice.

Are you still using Instagram these days?