Instagram, the hip photo-sharing website and app, could easily have been owned by Twitter rather than Facebook.
It emerged today that Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom verbally agreed to sell to Twitter for $525 million (pounds sterling 325 million) in March but then called off the deal.
Just weeks later, Systrom reached a deal with Facebook worth $1 billion. During negotiations with Instagram, Twitter executives gave Systrom a "term sheet", giving details of the proposed deal, according to the New York Times.
But Systrom later told regulators in California under oath that his company had not received any "formal offers or term sheets" from potential buyers apart from Facebook.
The revelation that Instagram and Twitter held takeover talks is also significant because relations between the two companies have soured since the acquisition by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Instagram has dropped a function that allowed Twitter users to display Instagram pictures easily, while Twitter introduced its own photo-sharing technology to compete with Instagram.
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