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Instagram co-founders to exit the company

26 September, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger will apparently leave in a matter of weeks

The two co-founders did not provide a reason for their sudden departure from the company, although tensions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are widely considered to be behind the move.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and co-founder Mike Krieger sold the company to Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.

Facebook's shares were down 2.4% at $161.51 in early trading yesterday, knocking more than $11bn off the stock's market value.

Some saw this departure as a potential opening for Snapchat, given that the company's app has always been considered a major Instagram competitor; Facebook has even stolen more than a few of Snapchat's most popular features. Instagram had been hailed in Silicon Valley as a flashy acquisition done right, with the team kept relatively small and Systrom having the freedom to add features such as peer-to-peer messaging, video uploads and advertising. "Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents", wrote Zuckerberg. "I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it". "I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next".

Why are the Instagram founders leaving?

"One of the key hallmarks of Instagram has been its independence and uniqueness from Facebook". WhatsApp has been building a team of data scientists over the past year, suggesting that it too is exploring ways to exploit user data to generate sales.

Social media giant Facebook, Inc.


The photo sharing app was founded by the pair in 2010 and bought by Facebook a mere two years later for $1 billion. "He knows that a large part of Instagram's popularity is that it's separate from Facebook". Back then, it was used by around 30 million people.

But Zuckerberg's restraint appears to have waned.

If you're a fan of Instagram, and many hundreds of millions of you are, there are plenty of reasons to be anxious about a pair of resignations that came out of nowhere Monday night, sent tech Twitter into a tizzy and signaled the arrival of a significant new chapter for the biggest social networking company on the planet.

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

Instagram had previously been seen as largely autonomous from Facebook's influence.

More recently, though, it's been Facebook that needs Instagram more than the other way around, and that makes the departure of the Instagram founders a particularly painful sting. And Adam Mosseri, formerly the VP of News Feed at Facebook, was made Instagram's new head of product. Instagram has also largely remained insulated from the issues plaguing its parent company, and it continues to grow. It is still seen as a more uplifting place than Facebook, escaping fallout from scandals such as that around Cambridge Analytica. Systrom's public farewell blog post hinted that the duo will be going on to start something else: "We're now ready for our next chapter", the exec wrote.

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