Facebook to buy Instagram for $1 billion

In a Monday announcement, popular social network Facebook said that it intends acquiring San Francisco-based Internet start-up Instagram in a $1 billion cash and stock deal, which will mark the company's biggest acquisition thus far.

Facebook's acquisition of Instagram will primarily make the social network's position much stronger on the mobile-devices front, as Instagram is basically a photography-centric social network which offers mobile apps that enable users to add a peculiar effect to their smartphone pictures and share them with friends.

Despite the fact that Instagram has a number of competitors, it has still managed to stand out amid competition largely because the service has been witnessing a notably fast ascend, and has a cult-like following. Instagram - which was available only for Apple devices till last week, before the Android version of the app was released - boasts nearly 30 million users who upload over 5 million pictures every day.

While Altimeter Group's analyst Rebecca Lieb is of the opinion that Facebook's acquisition of Instagram will be beneficial for the social network chiefly because it will help the company meet its most urgent need of making its service more appealing on smartphones, it is also being reported that Instagram will also help Facebook keep pace with the ever-changing whims of the Internet users.

About Instagram's acquisition by Facebook, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a company blog post: "It's important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We'll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network."