Instagram is one of the hottest image-based social networks at this point in time and it has just been acquired by the world’s foremost social platform, Facebook.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg released press statements, explaining the acquisition.  According to Systrom, Instagram will only benefit.

Facebook acquires Instagram

He said in the statement:

It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’l (sic) be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg – whose Facebook network boasts in excess of 800 million active users – was also clearly excited about Instagram. He issued a press release reflective of Systrom’s, and spoke briefly of the direction he plans to take Instagram.

For those fearing Instagram disappearing in Facebook’s swirling vortex of disposable cash and endless apps, Zuckerberg also maintained that he and his team are dedicated to keeping Instagram independent. He knows how attached the tens of millions of users have become, and assures users it will not lose its identity:

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

Facebook has spent a staggering $1 Billion to to acquire Instagram.