Social giant moves to acquire wildly popular photo sharing application developer.

Facebook splashes a billion on Instagram

Social networking giant Facebook is to splash out not less than a billion US dollars to acquire the photo sharing application Instagram.

The popular iPhone app managed to snag 30 million users and last week Instagram launched an Android version for the first time. Despite that, Instagram has no revenue to speak.

"This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users," wrote Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook was minded to retain the strengths of the social photo sharing app and not integrate the product into Facebook exclusively. Instagram will also maintain the ability to post to rival social networks.

28-year old Stanford graduate and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom holds around 45 per cent of the company, catapulting him into the realms of the super rich. Not bad for a company that’s just 18 months old.

"We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together."

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