Just weeks away from what is expected to be the biggest Internet IPO in history, Facebook announced plans to buy the very popular photo sharing program Instagram for $1 billion. 
Instagram is just 2 years old but already has 33 million users and growth that shows no signs of slowing.

The connection between Instagram and Facebook is obvious.  Since photo sharing is a big factor in Facebook’s success, you can see why purchasing the most popular photo enhancing program on the web makes sense. 
And, did we mention that they did this just before their IPO?

Instagram has been described as “twitter for mobile photos.”  Users edit  photos by applying filters, such as transforming a photo by “aging” it.  Then they post them allowing others to comment on them.

The company was started by two Stanford University graduates and now has 12 employees.  You read that right.  12 employees.

So why did Zukerberg pull the trigger and buy a company at a price that many say is twice as much as the company is valued?
 Instagram had developed mobile applications that facebook is still lacking.  This is the key selling point (or maybe buying point in this case) for facebook in their acquisition.
Zuckerberg stressed that Instagram would continue to operate independently.  We certainly hope that is true.