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Instagram co-founders step down 6 years after sale to Facebook

26 September, 2018, 19:15 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Instagram founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom have reportedly resigned from the Facebook-owned app.                  James Martin  CNET

Systrom and Krieger gave no reason for their departure, but multiple reports suggested they were growing frictions between the founders and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012 for a reported $1 billion.

Facebook's increasingly heavy-handed influence over its acquisition has frustrated Instagram's team, especially Krieger and Systrom.

Instagram cofounders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom.

Kevin and Mike made this known on their Instagram pages, releasing the same statement on their platforms. "I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it". "I wish them all the best and I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next", Zuckerberg said.

The two were inspired to create the Instagram app - originally launched just for iPhones in 2010 - by old Polaroid pictures.

"We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion", he continued.

The defections are part of an all-too familiar script at Facebook, of late.

And Facebook just isn't as cool as some of its younger rivals. Its popular Stories feature - which lets users post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours - is used by more than 400 million people every day, up from 250 million one year ago.

But Zuckerberg's restraint appears to have waned. Brian Acton, WhatsApp's other co-founder, had already left the previous September. It's fair to say that Instagram could have died as a little start-up in Facebook's long shadow, and it definitely benefited from the discipline, infrastructure and advertising sales machine that it accessed as a semi-autonomous region inside of mother Facebook. Facebook recently disclosed that it had deleted hundreds of pages across Instagram and its main social network linked to global misinformation campaigns meant to disrupt elections. Facebook CFO Dave Wehner said "Instagram is growing more quickly and making an increasing contribution to growth, and we've been pleased with how Instagram is growing". Facebook's main app has been marred by scandals around privacy, the Cambridge Analytica issue, and the spread of fake news.

Facebook also needs Instagram financially.

On the news that WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum was leaving Facebook earlier this year, sources told The Washington Post that a power struggle was partially responsible for the departure.

On Facebook's second-quarter earnings call, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said, "We believe Instagram has been able to use Facebook's infrastructure to grow more than twice as quickly as it would have on its own".



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