Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Instagram co-founders stepping down from Facebook

Instagram co-founders stepping down from Facebook

Co-founders of Facebook Inc's (FB.O) Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, have resigned as chief executive officer and chief technical officer, respectively, the photo-sharing app company announced late on Monday.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the pair is leaving after clashing with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has reportedly taken a closer interest in the app as his company has increasingly depended on it for future growth.

The news of their departure comes from The New York Times, and is corroborated by a statement from Systrom.

Their departures will be problematic for Facebook, and follow closely behind the resignation of Jan Koum WhatsApp's chief executive officer, who quit over adverts on the service.

In the most recent call, Zuckerberg explained that Instagram grew twice as fast being part of Facebook as it could have on its own, a statement that many Instagram insiders felt was unnecessary and unprovable.

The founders confirmed their decision in a blog post, although Facebook didn't immediately have a comment on the tension.

Instagram inspired back to school fashion
Instagram inspired back to school fashion

Systrom and Krieger met through Stanford University and worked separately in Silicon Valley before forming Instagram in 2010.

Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1bn (£76m), now has more than 1 billion users. In 2016, it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, a copy of Snapchat's popular "stories" feature.

The app now boasts a user base of over one billion people.

While Facebook has endured scandals on privacy, fake news and election interference, Instagram's brand has remained mostly untarnished, and continued to grow users rapidly.

"I see Mark [Zuckerberg] practice a tremendous amount of restraint in giving us the freedom to run, but the reason why I think he gives us the freedom to run is because when we run, it typically works", Systrom told Recode last June.

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Hopefully it won't until the talented developers grab a new role, but who knows - they might even end up with a better one. Rival development companies, including Ubisoft, have reached out to those left jobless with the promise of interviews.

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