BREAKING: Facebook Acquires Instagram

Huge news this morning out of Menlo Park. Via his Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg announced that his soon-to-go-public company has acquired Instagram for roughly $1 billion in combined cash and stock:

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 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.

Zuckerberg adds that the transaction is an important milestone for his company because it marks the first time Facebook has acquired a product with such a large user base. He also hints that on the deal-making front, the social media behemoth does not “plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”

Perhaps one more reason for Stanford grads Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger to savor this gigantic payday.