Instagram Bought by Facebook for $1 Billion

By Edward Tan, JD on April 09, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Attention attorneys: You may want to remember today as "Facebook buys Instagram" day. Or "Instagram Bought by Facebook" day, whichever you prefer grammatically.

The social network giant paid about $1 billion in cash and stock for Instagram, a popular photo-sharing application, the Los Angeles Times reports. The purchase means some interesting changes for Facebook's users, who will be able to post and follow users on other social networks, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, said in (what else) a Facebook post.

But for general counsels (especially those in tech), the move means so much more.

Think stock options. The options that usually come with being a general counsel can be worth a fortune when a giant like Facebook comes around with checkbook in hand.

There's no word yet on whether Instagram employees received any stock. But in a company as small as Instagram (which only has about 10 employees), it's a possibility they did.

This story is remarkable on a number of levels.

First off, Instagram is a free app that allows users to manipulate and share photos. The key word in that sentence is "free." The company doesn't actually generate any revenue right now. Though they were able to raise $7 million in 2011, and have been valuated from $25 million to $500 million.

Second, Instagram only started about 15 months ago. This is very new, even in the tech world.

So if an Instagram attorney received stock options, he or she would be sitting pretty today. Any person, lawyer or otherwise, lucky enough to have been in on the ground floor could've become an instant millionaire.

So remember general counsels, if you find yourself shopping for an In House job, don't judge a book by its cover. Look into the company's background, and remember "Instagram Bought by Facebook" day.

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