The biggest news in the tech world today was that Instagram was acquired by Facebook for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. Instagram, the popular picture sharing app for mobile devices, has seen its userbase skyrocket in recent years, with approximately 30 million iOS users joining in the last 18 months alone.

Amazingly, after Instagram’s new Android client was launched last week, nearly 2,000 people have been signing up every single minute. All of this activity attracted the attention of Facebook, which plans to integrate Instagram’s features into the Facebook experience.

It’s important to note that Instagram will continue to operate as an independent company, which means that many of its most popular features – like the ability to post to other social networks – should be preserved. Other features, like the ability to restrict your Instagram photos only to Twitter followers, as opposed to your Facebook friends, are also here to stay.

Where is this cash coming from? Facebook’s upcoming IPO is expected to value the company at a whopping $100 billion, making the $1 billion acquisition of Instagram seem like chump change.

Instagram is one of several major acquisitions made by Facebook over the last year. However, none of the company’s other acquisitions have even come close to the $1 billion mark.

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