Facebook, just weeks away from what's expected to be the biggest Internet IPO in history, today signed a deal to acquire the hugely popular photo-sharing smartphone app Instagram in a cash and stock deal valued at about $1 billion.
Facebook has made a slew of acquisitions to date, but nothing of this scale. But Instagram is a 2-year-old startup that comes with some 33 million users and a growth rate that's the envy of Silicon Valley.
Photo-sharing has been a big part of Facebook's success, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now making a big bet that it will be a critical part of its future.
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