Social media leader Facebook acquired Instagram on Monday for a reported $1 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the move on his personal blog, saying Instagram’s team will join Facebook. Marketers might take this as a sign that visual content is increasingly important to garnering social shares and leads.
According to Zuckerberg, will not be the first in a line of acquisitions of products. The motivation for the acquisition, he wrote, is to improve the ability of Facebook users to share photos from their mobile phones.
The launch of Timeline has placed a greater emphasis on visual content for both user profiles and business pages. Integrating Instagram with Facebook will only make it easier for users to update their profiles with images and share brands’ visual content.
Zuckerberg also said that Instagram users will still be able to share images on other social networks. Currently, users can post content from Instagram to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and other social networks. They can also send the photos to email contacts from the app’s sharing interface.
Instagram will be available as a separate app, Zuckerberg said. The full details of the integration with the two platforms was not entirely disclosed in Zuckerberg’s blog post.
Brafton recently reported that businesses using Facebook’s Timeline have seen increased fan engagement since switching to the new layout. Other reports discussing the value of visual content likely signal the cause behind greater social engagement with Timeline, as images, video and infographics are more appealing to users.