Facebook announced on Monday that it will acquire Instagram, a popular mobile photo-sharing application and social network, for $1 billion.
Instagram, which was previously available only as an iPhone application, was recently made available by the company on Android phones as well.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, wrote in a post on his Timeline that the transaction would enable Facebook’s engineers “to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”
Photo-sharing has been central to Facebook’s user experience since its inception, and the acquisition of Instagram is vital to Facebook as consumer technology trends move towards mobile technology.
Instagram previously raised a total of $47.5 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase.com. The 12-person company, based in San Francisco, is only two-years old, having been founded in 2010.
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described his elation in a company blog post on Monday.
“Every day that passes, we see more experiences being shared through Instagram in ways that we never thought possible,” Systrom wrote.
“It’s because of our dedicated and talented team that we’ve gotten this far, and with the support and cross-pollination of ideas and talent at a place like Facebook, we hope to create an even more exciting future for Instagram and Facebook alike,” Systrom continued.
Both CEOs said that Instagram would not be dissolved, and Zuckerberg said that the acquisition would be a rare — if not single — occurrence.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote. “We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”
“But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together,” Zuckerberg added.
The announcement comes days after Facebook announced that it will be traded on NASDAQ as it awaits its May 2012 initial public offering. The company is currently under a “quiet period,” according to Securities and Exchange Commission rules, which will last for 25 days after the company’s listing goes public.
The transaction with Instagram is expected to close later in the second quarter of 2012.