Instagram co-founders announce departure from Facebook

Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger will apparently leave in a matter of weeks

Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger will apparently leave in a matter

Chief Executive Kevin Systrom and Chief Technical Officer Mike Krieger are leaving the smartphone photo-sharing service bought by Facebook six years ago for a billion dollars.

The pair sensationally announced their departure from Facebook on Monday.

Their departure comes less than six months after WhatsApp's founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton quit Facebook, after clashing with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg over privacy and data protection following the Cambridge Analytica scandal which rocked the company.

Instagram is considered one of Facebook's more popular products, even as growth slows at the social media giant, according to the WSJ.

September 25, 2018, 1:04 p.m. AEST Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom has issued a statement regarding the co-founders' departure. Similarly, he confirmed that fellow co-founder Mike Krieger would also be leaving the company. Earlier this year, Adam Mosseri, who formerly ran Facebook's news feed, was brought to Instagram to be head of product.

Instagram is on track to provide Facebook with US$20 billion in revenue by 2020, about a quarter of Facebook's total, Ken Sena, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, wrote to investors earlier this year. Meanwhile, Snap Inc. rose about 2 per cent, amid speculation that the company can take advantage of Facebook's woes.

There are reports that Mr Systrom had sought to maintain Instagram's independence and that this trickled down to make staff on Facebook and Instagram less inclined to be collaborative. Its user base has since climbed to one billion.

Instagram is the third Facebook-owned business whose founders have left recently.

They notified the photo-sharing app's leadership team and Facebook on Monday about their decision to leave, according to Instagram. Koum had grown increasingly concerned about Facebook's position on user data in recent years, people with knowledge of the situation said at the time. Eventually, Burbn was retooled and renamed Instagram.

So what will become of Instagram now?

At that time, it has over 30 million followers.

The duo worked out of a small office in the South Park neighborhood of San Francisco. Instagram is loved by younger users. TechCrunch's sources note that this stress was exacerbated by Zuckerberg's wresting of autonomy from Systrom and Krieger.

Studies and estimates show that Instagram is generally growing faster than the core Facebook app, and gets more engagement from users.

There was no animosity in the blog post. "Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing handsome mobile photos with people based on your interests". Those trends reversed in July, when the company sent tremors through the stock market by warning that its growth was slowing, an announcement that chopped nearly $120 billion from the firm's market value. Zuckerberg also spent $19 billion to buy WhatsApp.

It's understandable if Zuckerberg wants to squeeze more golden eggs from Instagram - integrating the two businesses more closely would help do that. The Instagram departures may put further pressure on the stock.

It is unclear who will lead the company after the founders leave.

Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger met while studying at Stanford University.

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