Instagram co-founders step down from the photo sharing app

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 25th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

The co-founders of Instagram have stepped down from the photo sharing app, six years after it was acquired by Facebook for $1bn (£760m).

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger informed Facebook's bosses of their resignation on Monday and plan to leave in the coming weeks, according to the New York Times.

The two have continued to run the app as chief executive and chief technology officer respectively as Instagram has ballooned from a hipster iPhone app to a giant with more than one billion users.

Their departure means that the founders of Facebook's three biggest acquisitions – WhatsApp, Oculus and now Instagram – have left since being bought by the social media giant. WhatsApp founder Jan Koum left Facebook earlier this year while Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey departed last year amid a political row.

Reports of disagreements between Systrom and Krieger and Facebook's leadership have emerged in recent months. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly forced through the introduction of Instagram's Stories feature, a concept cloned from Snapchat, which has become wildly successful.

On Monday night Kevin Systrom posted a statement confirming the news:

“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.

“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.

“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. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next.

Instagram has been one of Facebook's main bright spots as its owner has been beset by crises this year. The app had just 27m users when Facebook bought it in April 2012 but reached 1bn monthly users this summer. It has also offset a perceived exodus of younger users from the main Facebook social network.

News of their departure sparked speculation that Facebook had demanded a change to Instagram that Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger disagreed with.

Some reports have suggested the app is considering a “regram” button that would allow users to post other user's photos, similar to a Twitter retweet. The reports have been denied by Instagram.

A Facebook spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.