Instagram co-founders resign from social media company

Ivan Schwartz
September 25, 2018

Kevin Systrom, the chief executive officer, and Mike Krieger, chief technical officer, have announced they will step down from Instagram in the next few weeks - six years after it was bought by Facebook.

The Instagram co-founders have reportedly "clashed" with Facebook leadership over the photo-sharing service's "autonomy" within the company, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing people close to the matter.

Though Systrom, in the early days of Instagram ads, famously checked each one personally to ensure it aligned with the app's aesthetics, he was not as loudly anti-ads as the founder of another popular Facebook-acquired mobile app, WhatsApp.

Instagram has been a hit with young internet users, an audience that Facebook is keen to keep in its fold.

Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team.

Technology stocks have propelled the US stock market to record highs in recent years, with FAANG shares (for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) soaring about 58 percent last year. Concerns over Facebook's business sparked the biggest one-day wipeout in United States stock market history in July.

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WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum earlier this year also left Facebook, which bought the smartphone messaging service for $19 billion.

"We're planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again", Systrom wrote in a blog post. "I wish them all the best and I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next". The Instagram departures may put further pressure on its stock.

Adam Mosseri, who had overseen Facebook's news feed and spent a decade working closely with Zuckerberg, became Instagram's head of product.

Bloomberg noted that Instagram has featured more prominently in Facebook's earnings calls, with Zuckerberg saying it is grown twice as fast as it would have without the parent company.

The photo app's global revenue this year is likely to exceed $8 billion, showed data from advertising consultancy EMarketer. A new privacy law in Europe has also affected prices.

Other reports by GizPress

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