The photo-sharing app Instagram generated about $20 billion in revenue last year alone, according tomedia reports. Facebook bought the emerging social media platform in 2012 for $715 million. The figures were provided by Bloomberg News, citing anonymous sources. Bloomberg also claims that the money accounts for more than a quarter of Facebook’s overall revenue. By comparison, Google’s YouTube sales were just $15.1 billion.
Over the past few years, Facebook has been seeking more and more control over Instagram. Despite promises to give Instagram more autonomy at the time of the acquisition, Zuckerberg reportedly sparred with instagram founders several times, eventually leading to their departure. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum and Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell may leave for the same reason.
At the same time, Facebook has consolidated control of the property and even started adding brands to WhatsApp and Instagram. The company is also trying to integrate deeper between messaging platforms found on Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, although those efforts have also attracted more government scrutiny of the company’s affairs.