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Instagram is worth $1 billion. The New York Times is worth $967 million.

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Facebook!, The Web, Zuck!, Yahoo!, Social Media, Billions!, @karaswisher, Valuation, Facebook Acquisitions, Black Swans!

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Facebook just bought Instagram for ONE BEELYUN DOLLARS.

To be clear, that's 3 engineers and an Amazon Web Services-based service.

Someone's wearing a rose-tinted filter.

How does a company go from being worth half a billion dollars to $1 billion in a single weekend?

The San Francisco-based company — with only 13 employees — had 30 million Apple iPhone users before it came to Google’s Android last week, where it got more than a million new users in just 12 hours.

In a blog post titled “Instagram + Facebook,” Systrom promised no change, except for the $1 billion mountain of cash:

“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 … The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love... You’ll still be able to share to other social networks.”

The app will be the same.

But it's hard for me to believe that Instagram will go long without Facebooking the Instagram user experience.

With picplz now owned by Sporkle and Posterous's future uncertain at Twitter and Flickr's future uncertain with a lunatic wielding an axe at Yahoo, I guess this means I have to go back to just using the vanilla iPhone Camera app again.

And manually sharing on various Web networks.

Where has all the independence gone from the Web? Posterous, Oink, and Draw Something all got slurped as if they were snacks. Et tu, Instagram?

It's 2012. Will someone PLEASE release a decent independent mobile syndication app?

Robert Scoble scribbled on Zuck's wall:

As Tonya Hall [he means Dennis Berman] just wrote: "Remember this day. 551-day-old Instagram is worth $1 billion. 116-year-old New York Times Co. $967 million."

Stephen Venuto scribbled on Zuck's wall:

What an amazing combination....can't wait to see what happens next!

And Stephen Venuto followed up:

I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the TechCrunch home page right now. The TC graphic at the top is a picture of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and the tag-line at the top of their pages reads: "You know what's cool? A billion dollar acquisition right before you go public. Congrats, Mike Kreiger & Kevin Systrom!"

Here's what Zuck has to say about this:

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.

This is the first time I've ever seen him acknowledge publicly that there are other social networks.

Owning Instagram means Facebook will have beachheads on Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr to pull people back into Facebook.

Since Instagram has no Web client, FACEBOOK will be Instagram's Web client.

Once again, Google is left out. (Although to be fair to Instagram, Google is the reason Instagram can't syndicate to Google+. Google has locked down their APIs so much and refuse to play with others.)

Also, Zuck says:

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.

In other words, hey all you uppity Silicon Valley companies that think you can get us to buy you for a billion dollars. You can't. We won't.

I'm surprised that Facebook considers itself to be the best photo sharing experience.

I'm also surprised that Facebook was able to acquire Instagram instead of Google.

Kevin Systrom (Instagram's CEO) is ex-Google, as is Facebook CTO Bret Taylor and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. It appears that Facebook has a lot of Google DNA in its leadership now. Even more so as of today.

Bravo to Facebook and Instagram. They both win.


So, how did Google miss its chance to buy Instagram?

Turns out it happened so fast that even Sequoia had no idea it was happening.

I guess Facebook learned something from Yahoo: MOVE FAST.


Party on, Instagram. Party on.

I've been seeing a lot of sentiments such as the following on Twitter today:

cm-4243-04f83372fb415a.png @jameshritz

Well... happy for the team at Instagram, but I suppose my interest in IG will see a sharp decline. I went to IG to get away from FB.


By IG he's referring to Instagram not Interest Graph, right?

Insta-Backlash !!!

The Web needs a better business model than "Bake a Beautiful Cake from Scratch and then feed it to Godzilla."

3 years later. New York Times worth $2 billion. Instagram worth $35 billion.

Yeah, it was better to bet on Instagram than Kodak 3 years ago.

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