Facebook has bought the photo sharing company ‘Instagram’ for a cool $1 billion in cash and shares.

Instagram was founded two years ago by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger and is at present a profitless set-up with some ten employees. It does though have about 30 million users of its free service.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, does not see the future for Instagram as some sort of Facebook add-on. He said that as far as Instagram’s users were concerned it would be business as usual.

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.” He said.

He went on to say that this was an ‘important milestone’ in Facebook’s history and stressed to importance of photo-sharing to users making it “…worth bringing these two companies together”.

Kevin Systrom said on the Instagram blog that “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. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.

The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you. You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.

Mark Zuckerberg by Brian Solis

Mark Zuckerberg by Brian Solis

We’re psyched to be joining Facebook and are excited to build a better Instagram for everyone.”

But many people are not so pleased. The Guardian reports that many Instagram users went straight to Twitter to vent their spleens about it.

And as many are discussing the move and asking how a so far profitless company could possibly be worth a billion dollars.

Image by Brian Solis [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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