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In The News 04-13-2012

In The News 04-13-2012
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology

 Facebook Buys Instagram

A Picture Is Worth… A Billion Dollars?

We all know the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but it also seems that a way to store a picture has a value as well: $1 billion to be exact.  Mark Zuckerburg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, announced  Monday that the social networking giant would be purchasing photo sharing app Instagram for $1 billion in cash and shares.  Instagram is its own social network that allows users to take photos, add any number of vintage-related photo filters, and share them with others.  To date, Instagram boasts 30 million users which are mostly from its iOS based app.  An Android version of the app was just recently released as well.

Many Instagram users are already unhappy with the purchase, opting to download and delete their photos over fear of Facebook forever taking control of them.  Zuckerburg did offer some reassurance to users, saying that Instagram would not lose its ability to connect and post photos to other networks, such as Twitter.  Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom also stated that “the Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love.”

The estimated value of Instagram came in at $500 million, making the purchase price twice the value.  The app is currently available for free in the iTunes App Store and for Android users.


Verizon Wants (More Of) Your Money

Not only does Verizon Wireless want your soul for two years, but now it wants an extra $30 on top of that.  April 22 will mark the beginning of Verizon charging a $30 “upgrade fee” for existing customers who purchase new phones with a two-year contract.  The phones that are provided for an upgrade are typically discounted when purchased with a two-year agreement. People that upgrade early, thus paying the full price for a phone, won’t be affected by the upgrade fee.

According to Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney,”This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect.”  The new upgrade fee may not come as a huge surprise as Verizon is the last major wireless carrier in the U.S. to include the fee.  Sprint and AT&T are at $36 while T-Mobile only charges $18.