In its largest acquisition yet, Facebook announced today that it’s buying the photo-sharing company Instagram for $1 billion, an unusual move as the social network heads into its initial public offering next month.
“It is surprising because it doesn’t happen often with companies” as they approach the quiet period before an IPO, said Melissa Parrish, senior analyst at the Yankee Group. “But because it is Facebook, it doesn’t surprise me. Facebook does unexpected things fairly often.”
For a social network whose advertising revenue is only about $2 billion, the acquisition actually is made possible by the upcoming public offering, said Roger Kay, founder and president of Endpoint Technologies Associates in Wayland…