Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

Daniel Fowler
September 25, 2018

Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement late Monday that he and Mike Krieger, Instagram's chief technical officer, plan to leave the company in the next few weeks and take time off "to explore our curiosity and creativity again".

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who co-founded Instagram eight years ago, are leaving the service's parent company, Facebook.

The cofounders of Facebook's photo-sharing app Instagram have resigned their positions and plan to leave the company in coming weeks, the New York Times reported Monday evening.

A spokeswoman for Facebook, which owns Instagram, did not immediately have a comment.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, just before going public, at a price that seemed inconceivable at the time _ $1 billion _ especially for a little-known startup with no profit.

The departure of Instagram co-founders comes months after the exit of Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp, another Facebook unit.

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Back then Instagram was ad-free, with a loyal following of 31 million users who were all on mobile devices - at the time, still a somewhat elusive demographic for Facebook. "I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it".

While Facebook doesn't release separate financial information for the firm, Instagram broke through the 1 billion monthly active user barrier in June, and eMarketer estimated it would generate 70 per cent revenue this year, about $US5.48 billion. The social media giant's shares posted the biggest one-day stock-market wipeout in American history in July after sales and user growth disappointed investors.

Increased advertising on Instagram has seen the average price-per-ad across Facebook's apps decline this year after a year of upswing.

Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger have known each other since 2010, when they met and transformed a software project built by Mr Systrom into what eventually became Instagram, which now has more than one billion users.

Facebook's stock plunged earlier this year, with founder Mark Zuckerberg's net worth taking a hit of almost $19 billion amid a series of privacy scandals, including one involving Cambridge Analytica, which was allowed to comb through millions of users' data without their knowledge.

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