Facebook has completed its acquisition of Instagram, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference that there aren't any plans for "making them come into our infrastructure." The response may answer one of the big outstanding questions about the photo-sharing service: namely, would Facebook essentially kill it off and make it a feature of Facebook, or would it allow Instagram to continue to exist as an independent app.
"We’ll treat them like an open graph partner."
Zuckerberg claimed that it was the latter — in fact, he said that the entire reason for the acquisition was simply that the two companies wanted to work more closely together, and not for Instagram to be absorbed into Facebook entirely. "We’ll treat them like an open graph partner," Zuckerberg said, just more efficiently now that Facebook owns Instagram. "We want to help it grow to hundreds of millions of users," he said, which is an ambitious goal but obviously far short of Facebook's 950 million users.
Although it looks like Instagram isn't going anywhere in the immediate future, in the long term we'll have to wait to see if Zuckerberg can stick to his guns on the decision. There will surely be plenty of increased integration between the two apps — hence, according to Zuckerberg, the acquisition — but drawing the line between collaboration, integration, and outright absorption may prove to be harder than it seems.