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Instagram gets $500 million valuation, adds 1 million users in 12 hours after Android release

by Phil Hornshaw

BREAKING NEWS: On Monday April 9, 2012, Facebook announced it had acquired Instagram for $1 billion.

Original story follows:

Fresh off adding an Android app to its incredibly popular iOS offering, photo sharing app Instagram is up for a $500 million valuation, led by investor Sequoia Capital, according to rumors.

AllThingsD has the story, citing unnamed sources that say Instagram is wrapping up Series B funding led by Sequoia, which would net Instagram $50 million to work with. It’s worth noting, as AllThingsD points out, that Instagram hasn’t actually got any revenue just yet, but that’s not stopping investors from wanting to get in on the ground floor with the company, it seems.

That’s because Instagram is a pretty big deal. Just 12 hours after the release of its Android app this week, Instagram added a million users to its online community of photo-sharing shutterbugs. That’s pretty high, but it’s nothing compared to the roughly 30 million iOS users that have been flocking to the app for the last year or more. Apple even named Instagram its best iPhone app of the year in 2011.

The company has certainly come a long way. Instagram received $7 million in Series A funding just a little more than a year ago. That funding was led by Benchmark Capital, and at the time, Instagram’s community was about 1.75 million registered users. Now with more than 30 million users and a ton of hype, the valuation and the funding have skyrocketed, according to the report.

That could mean some very big things from Instagram in the future, which at last count had 13 employees and just moved into an office in San Francisco. The app was recently expanded to add new photo filters, a big driver of the app’s popularity, and to enhance performance of a lot of features. Instagram’s best move has always to keep photo-tweaking and sharing extremely simple, so one wonders what the company might be able to do with a lot of money to improve the experience even more.