The popular photo app and social network Instagram has been acquired by Facebook for approximately $1 billion in a combination of both cash and shares. This is confirmed on both Facebook and Instagram blogs.
For those that don’t know; Instagram is homage to both the Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras. The free app confines photos into a square shape and then provides effects to adjust the photo into many artistic themes. Previously used only on Apple iOS devices, the company has just released its photo sharing client on Android where it racked up a million downloads in just one day.
At its current public market valuation, New York Times is worth about $50 million less than the $1 billion dollars that Facebook just paid for Instagram. Sure, newspapers and print are struggling, yet the New York Times is a truly global brand and has many times proven its longevity.
Even more surprising is that the founder, Kevin Systrom, learnt to code in the evenings and weekends whilst holding a marketing role of Product Manager for Nextstop (a geo-tagging review and recommendations website).
On his Quora blog he writes:
“The story starts when I worked at Nextstop. While I was there working in marketing, I started doing more and more engineering at night on simple ideas that helped me learn how to program (I don’t have any formal CS degree or training).”
Unbelievably, it took roughly 551 days from Instagram’s launch to its sale for $1 Billion. This is incredible growth for a tiny company that only has 11 employees. The transaction will go through some time later this year where Systrom will walk away with a cool $400 million.
This evening I will be mostly learning how to code…