Mark Zuckerberg · 12,823,670 subscribers Yesterday at 1:01am near Palo Alto, CA ·  
  • I'm excited to share the news that we've agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

    For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

    We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

    That's why we're committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

    We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

    These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram's experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook's strong engineering team and infrastructure.

    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. 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.

    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.
華爾街日報相關新聞:

Insta-Rich: $1 Billion for Instagram

Facebook Inks Its Biggest Deal Ever; Neutralizes Threat from a Hot Photo Start-Up

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577333840377381670.html?mod=WSJAsia_hpp_LEFTTopStories 

 Instagram founders Mike Krieger, left, and Kevin Systrom.

Smile, you're a multimillionaire.

In October 2010, Stanford University graduates Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched a new iPhone application, Instagram, yet another oddly named tech start-up in a crowded field of hopefuls.

On Monday, the two twenty-somethings said they sold their photo-sharing service—which has about a dozen employees and no revenue—to Facebook Inc. for $1 billion in cash and stock.

Facebook is acquiring the popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. The deal would rank as Facebook's largest to date. Don Clark has details on the News Hub. Photo: Getty Images

That 18-month journey underscores the frenzied state of the tech investing game, where even the smallest Web companies can develop global followings in a matter of weeks.

Only last week, Instagram closed a $50 million funding round from venture capital firms. The company's valuation: A whopping $500 million.

Incredibly, such a number would turn out to be paltry in the days ahead. Shortly after that deal, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg contacted Mr. Systrom, Instagram's 28-year-old CEO, to buy the company.

Mr. Systrom came up with the idea for Instagram and is the company's largest shareholder with about a 45% stake, said people familiar with the matter.

The two had spoken about a deal the previous summer, according to other people familiar with the matter.

The acquisition came together over the weekend. "It was all Mark," said Steve Anderson, a founding partner of Baseline Ventures, one of the company's early investors. "It was CEO to CEO."

 

Buying Instagram improves Facebook's mobile offerings while removing a rival for users' attention. Instagram, with more than 30 million registered users, grew rapidly by helping people share photos, a fundamental reason people use Facebook.

The deal is the largest ever for Facebook, which people familiar with the matter say will sell shares to the public in May. The company in the past has paid millions of dollars for a series of small ventures, primarily in an effort to acquire talent.

Mr. Zuckerberg called the deal a "milestone" for his company. But, he said, "We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all."

Facebook is acquiring Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock in what is the social network's biggest acquisition to date, Dennis Berman reports on Mean Street. Photo: Getty Images.

Instagram is one of a cohort of young start-ups that have built products around the iPhone and have registered incredibly fast growth in a short period of time. The company bills its service as a fun and quirky way to share photos with friends. A user can snap a photo with an iPhone, then choose a filter to transform the look of the shot, say by giving it the look of an old Polaroid.

Users can share the photos with followers, where they can post comments and "Like" recommendations. Some people describe the app as a visual version of Twitter, where it is heavily used to share photos.

On March 11, Mr. Systrom gave a keynote talk at the South by Southwest conference in Austin and announced that Instagram's count of registered users had nearly doubled since December, rising to 27 million from 15 million. Last week, the company launched a version of its application that works on smartphones running Google Inc.'s GOOG -0.63%Android system and instantly added millions of users.

 

All this growth hasn't yet translated to revenue. But in the lingua franca of today's social-media industry that doesn't matter as much as user engagement and the ability to access those users' personal data.

Facebook has about 845 million users, many of whom came to the service to share photos. The company has been falling behind in mobile and has let Instagram capture much of the buzz in photo sharing. The company has rarely changed its photo feature, even as newer companies built more sophisticated apps.

Photos are a key driver of user "engagement," or how long someone spends on Facebook. Users spend an average of 7.5 hours a month on the site, according to research firm ComScore, the highest of any social network.

Those numbers matter to Facebook's marketers, who want users to view advertisements and interact with brands on the site. Advertising accounts for 85% of Facebook's revenue, or $3.1 billion in 2011, up from $1.8 billion a year earlier, according to the company's regulatory filings.

Facebook is acquiring the popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock, Spencer Ante reports on digits.

But the company has to capitalize on mobile. It only began in February to sell limited advertising on its mobile site, despite the fact that about half of its membership uses Facebook on their mobile phones.

Instagram has yet to develop a model for generating revenue, and substantial obstacles remain, such as whether small smartphone screens are sufficient to draw advertisers' attention.

Ann Taylor owner Ann Inc., ANN -4.12%Urban Outfitters Inc. URBN -3.29%and fashion label Marc Jacobs have created accounts and use Instagram to promote their brands. The app is also popular with celebrities and politicians who have created accounts, including singer Justin Bieber, President Barack Obama, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk and rapper Snoop Dogg. Last year, Apple AAPL -1.22%named Instagram the iPhone app of the year.

The value of Facebook's purchase of Instagram could prove to be worth it if it opens the door to China, the world's fastest-growing market. The WSJ's Deborah Kan speaks to Hong Kong Digital Editor Jake Lee.

The Instagram deal harkens back to Google's $1.6 billion acquisition of video-sharing site YouTube in 2006. At the time, analysts questioned the hefty price tag. But the deal instantly made Google a leader in Internet video and allowed it to expand its advertising to new formats.

In early 2011, Instagram raised $7 million in venture capital from Benchmark Capital, Baseline Ventures, Lowercase Capital and a handful of early-stage investors in a round that valued the company at about $30 million, said people familiar with the matter.

The new company almost immediately drew interest from suitors.

Twitter reached out to the company to express interest in buying it in 2011, people familiar with the matter said. Last summer, Mr. Systrom took a meeting with Mr. Zuckerberg, who floated the idea of a sale to Facebook, the people said.

Messrs. Systrom and Kreiger rebuffed all of the offers and seemed intent on building an independent company, said people familiar with their thinking.

Mr. Zuckerberg convinced Mr. Systrom that Instragram would be stronger under the Facebook umbrella than operating as an independent player.

He told Mr. Systrom that Instragram would function as an independent company under Facebook—a promise that Mr. Zuckerberg had never made to any other acquisition targets.

—Emily Glazer contributed to this article.

Corrections & Amplifications
An earlier version of a photo caption in this article incorrectly reversed the identifications of Instagram founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Mr. Krieger is on the left and Mr. Systrom is the right.

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台灣各報相關新聞:

【聯合晚報╱國際新聞組╱綜合報導】
   

全球最大社群網站臉書 (Facebook)9日宣布,以近10億美元(台幣295億元)現金和股票收購行動照片分享應用程式開發商Instagram,這不但是臉書歷來最大的收購案,也是該公司預期5月上市前的大動作。

雖然以這樣的價格收購一家尚無大量營收的公司十分大膽,但對臉書來說,此收購案除了可避免潛在對手壯大,也能防止Instagram落入推特(Twitter)或Google手中。

臉書的隱私權問題一直飽受批評,因此收購消息傳出後,引起許多Instagram使用者恐慌;臉書發表聲明表示,計畫讓Instagram保持獨立。

臉書執行長查克柏格在自己的臉書上貼文表示,「我們必須注意維持並加強Instagram的能力和功能,而非只是將每樣東西都整合進臉書。這也是我們會努力讓Instagram自行建立和成長的原因。」還說,「全球有許多人喜愛Instagram 的應用程式和它的品牌,我們的目標是把這個應用程式和品牌推廣給更多人。」

Instagram目前用戶多達3000萬人,查克柏格表示,這是臉書首度收購有如此多使用者的產品和公司。

早在2011年年初,查克柏格就曾和Instagram討論收購案的可能性,但Instagram創辦人之一希斯特羅姆希望保持公司的獨立性。當時Instagram的使用者還不到700萬人。

臉書準備IPO募集50億美元,將是網路公司有史以來規模最大的上市案。分析師預估,IPO將使臉書市值最高達1000億美元。

 

Instagram 高人氣藏商機
被臉書以10億美元收購的Instagram成立僅一年半,該公司的產品是蘋果App Store人氣最高的免費照片分享應用程式,用戶超過3000萬人。

Instagram由名校史丹福大學畢業生希斯特羅姆和克里格創立,兩人現在才20幾歲,2010年10月推出照片分享應用程式後,在蘋果iPhone、iPad等行動裝置用戶之間大受歡迎,使用人數直線上升。由於採用Android平台的行動裝置快速增加,該公司上周也推出Android版程式。

Instagram基本上可說是以照片為主體的社群網路,可讓用戶拍照後加上特效再傳給親友。用戶每天上傳的照片超過500萬張,Android版出爐後,數量必定大增。

希斯特羅姆2004年大二時推出Photobox服務讓用戶傳送大檔案照片,臉書創辦人查克柏格當時就想拉他進公司,但希斯特羅姆想念完大學而未答應。他後來成立提供張貼照片服務的Burbn公司,可是用戶只有幾百人,為iPhone簡化設計推出Instagram後竄紅。

消息人士透露,Instagram上周剛私募6000萬美元,根據最新募資計算,Instagram市值約5億美元。該公司總部位於舊金山,員工僅十幾人,還沒有什麼營收,臉書不惜以10億美元收購,是因為Instagram可以協助它吸引智慧手機使用者和瞄準智慧機用戶的廣告主。

知名運動品牌耐吉、精品業者Gucci、Tiffany和Burberry已運用Instagram促銷產品,服飾品牌Gap旗下的Banana Republic也曾透過Instagram舉辦活動。

價值美金10億元 Facebook正式併購Instagram

先前才在Android平台上推出相對應版本的Instagram,目前正式對外宣佈將由Facebook完成收購,預計將以美金高達10億元的價格完成此筆收購,另外在此次收購下暫時將不會對現有Instagram使用者造成影響。

稍早時候,Facebook由創辦人暨執行長Mark Zuckerberg透露將完成收購成立約551天的Instagram,同時根據華爾街日報表示此次收購將以價值等同美金10億元的現金與股權完成交易。至於在此收購下並不會對現有Instagram使用者造成任何影響,未來Instagram仍將維持獨立運作,相關功能也將為持現狀,但會持續接收源自於Facebook的資源協助。

此外,在此次併購後也並不會要求使用者必須將照片上傳至Facebook,使用者基本上仍可透過Instagram拍攝相片後上傳至包含Facebook、Twitter、Tumblr等其他社群網絡服務平台。

根據Mark Zuckerberg表示,Facebook在正式收購Instagram後將會提昇更好的行動照片分享體驗,未來也將配合Instagram發揮更好得社群互動,同時也不會立即將Instagram與Facebook作整合。另外,併購Instagram也是Facebook歷年來接收旗下使用者數量最多的服務內容,在此之前也曾併購包含在使用者介面或使用體驗設計有卓越表現的團體,諸如先前在去年6月間收購的Sofa,以及在去年8月間所併入的Push Pop Press,至於之後會如何運用Instagram本身影響力,就看Facebook下一步將如何走。


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