Instagram bills itself as a fun and quirky way to share photos with friends. A user can snap a photo with an iPhone, then choose a filter to transform the look of the shot, with the app originally known for a look akin to old photographs.
Users also can comment on photos and "like" them. Some people describe the app as a visual version of Twitter, where it is heavily used to share photos.
The deal presents a quick bonanza for the startup, which was founded in the fall of 2010 by two Stanford University graduates and has just over a dozen employees. The company's software, which is free and until recently only available on the iPhone, allows users to touch up and share photos with followers on Instagram or other social networks, such as Facebook.