Instagram brought in $20 billion for Facebook last year

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Instagram is a big business for Facebook.
  • The photo-sharing app was responsible for more than 25% of its parent company's sales.
  • Facebook acquired the company for just $715 million.

Mo' ads, mo' money, as they say. It's certainly the mantra Facebook-owned Instagram is living by, with the photo-sharing app reportedly netting revenues of around $20 billion in the last year alone. To put that in perspective, Facebook bought the nascent social media platform for just $715 million back in 2012. Money well spent, obviously.

Those numbers come courtesy of unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg News, who also claim that the sum amounts to more than a quarter of Facebook's revenues as a whole. It also puts to shame Google's recently released sales figures for YouTube, which come in at a mere $15.1 billion in comparison.

Facebook has sought increasing control over Instagram in the last few years. Despite promising a lot more autonomy at the time of purchase, Zuckerberg had reportedly quarreled with Instagram's founders repeatedly, ultimately leading to their departure. The same was true of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum as well as Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell.

Facebook, meanwhile, has consolidated its control over these properties and has even begun adding its branding to WhatsApp and Instagram. It's also working on deeper integrations between the messaging platforms found on Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, though these efforts are also inviting greater governmental scrutiny into the company's affairs.

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