As a user of Instagram moving forward, you’ll be agreeing to the following terms:
We may share User Content and your information (including but not limited to, information from cookies, log files, device identifiers, location data, and usage data) with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Instagram is part of, or that become part of that group.
The "group of companies that Instagram is part of” is, quite clearly, in reference to Facebook, and in actuality, the news far from surprising. Facebook has been making some alterations to its own policies, most notably of which consists of a new proposed Data Use Policy. Should the policy be passed, user data from the world’s foremost social network could be sent to these so-called groups of companies, and it’s as if both entities are being prepared for a stronger union going into 2013 and beyond.
Whether this means Facebook and Instagram will become one, remains to be seen. The vast majority of Facebook and Instagram users have no idea both are under the Facebook umbrella, and so far, that seems to have worked. However, for purpose of brand power, the Facebook logo would carry much more weight with Instagram blended under the hood, so we’ll have to wait and see what decisions Mark Zuckerberg and his team will decide.