Instagram has had a banner year. It’s grown from being just another photo-sharing and manipulation app for your iPhone to a powerful social network that now reaches both iOS and Android.

The free app has been used by social media aficionados and amateur photographers alike, and the acquisition by Mark Zuckerberg’s team at Facebook for $1 billion (cue Dr. Evil face) shows its attention has not been unwarranted.

So the big question for the folks at Instagram is: what’s next? Facebook’s acquisition strategy usually means that’s going to be integrated into an already-existed Facebook feature. Obviously, anything at this point is just speculation: but is this Facebook making a larger investment (no pun intended) into their Facebook Photos app?

The other question at hand is: what happens to the pretty massive Instagram infastructure that’s already in place.? The URL http://instagr.am is pretty ubituiquous as it is, and all of user’s photos are hosted on that one site.

One of instagram’s main sources of traffic is from Twitter. There’s no independent analysis to back that up besides personal experience: most of the links I’ve seen with instagram have been associated with a Twitter post. If Facebook integrates what Instagram has done, it might take away one of its greatest supporters.

The only thing we can do now is wait. And in the meantime, take more sunset photos and put them on the social network formerly known as Instagram.

[Instagram. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Brent Ozar. Licensed under CC-BY SA 2.0.]