Facebook Buys Instagram, AOL Sells Microsoft 800 Patents For $1 Billion, Sony Cuts 10,000 Jobs, Universal Hops On iCloud

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

Facebook Buys Instagram. In a surprise announcement, Facebook has acquired mobile photo service Instagram for $1 billion. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.” Facebook also stated that the two services would remain separate. The Instagram acquisition was made just days after Instagram launched a massively popular Android app. —NU


–Updated 1:05 p.m. EST

India’s BBM Tracking System In The Works. Indian security agencies have said that a system to help the government monitor BBM activity on RIM’s BlackBerrys will be up and running soon. For now, authorities have agreed on a protocol for law enforcement to follow before they get approval and access to a user’s data, if they suspect the devices were being used for criminal activity. —NS

–Updated 9:00 a.m. EST

AOL Sells Microsoft 800 Patents For $1 Billion. AOL is selling a bulk of its patents–800 in total–to Microsoft. AOL will keep the remaining 300 patents of its original portfolio, but license those (non-exclusively) to Microsoft. The sale is fetching AOL $1.056 billion in total. —NS

–Updated 8:06 a.m. EST


Eadweard Muybridge, the British photographer behind the iconic “The Horse in Motion” series, would have been 182 today. Google reminds us of the life and contributions of the photographer and publisher with this Google Doodle. 

Sony Cuts 10,000 Jobs. Under new CEO and ex-PlayStation head Kazuo Hiria, Sony is cutting 10,000 jobs (6% of the company’s global workforce, Japan’s Nikkei points out). It’s part of a larger restructuring plan to refocus efforts at the company, which has seen its fourth year of losses. The latest cuts are a result of a decision to do away with and consolidate the chemical manufacturing and small LCD operations, Japan’s Nikkei reported. —NS

Universal Hops On The iCloud. Movies once purchased from Universal Studios are now available for re-download from Apple’s iCloud. Universal and Fox were not part of Apple’s iCloud re-download scheme when it debuted in March because of contract restrictions with HBO, restrictions which HBO has since relaxed. With Universal joining four other studios already on iCloud, Fox is the last holdout. —NS

$35 Tablet Makers Begin Legal Battle. When we last checked, a standoff between the original designers and manufacturers of India’s “$35 tablet” was delaying delivery of the device. The tiff is now getting serious–the designers of tablet at IIT Jodhpur are suing manufacturing company DataWind for flouting the original stipulations of their tender agreement. DataWind, in the meanwhile, has pinned blame for the delay of the device squarely on the profs at IIT Jodhpur. —NS

–Updated 7:30 a.m. EST

Friday’s Fast Feed: Google Tablet Delay, Instagram Worth $500 Million, Larry Page Explains Google’s Plan, Anonymous Hacktivist Exposes China Secrets, and more!