Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

Chief Executive Kevin Systrom and Chief Technical Officer Mike Krieger are leaving the smartphone photo-sharing service bought by Facebook six years ago for a billion dollars.

Lately, they were frustrated with an unusual uptick in day-to-day involvement by Zuckerberg, who is now more reliant on Instagram for Facebook's future growth.

Systrom and Krieger notified the photo-sharing app's leadership team and Facebook on Monday about their decision to leave, Instagram said.

The pair sold Instagram to Facebook for $US1 billion in 2012.

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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.

Mr Systrom, the chief executive of the app, said they were departing to "explore our curiosity and creativity". 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.

Facebook's stock hasn't recovered from the hit, either. But Facebook has turned into a drag on the group. But as regulators have pushed Facebook to improve information safeguards for individual privacy, to combat addiction to social media, and to stop misinformation or fake news, Zuckerberg and other leaders have been under more pressure to monitor units beyond the core social network.

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

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Instagram in June announced it passed a billion active users, and unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract "creators" like those on YouTube. In the most recent call, Zuckerberg explained that Instagram grew twice as fast being part of Facebook as it could have on its own, a statement that many Instagram insiders felt was unnecessary and unprovable. Concerns over Facebook's business sparked the biggest one-day wipeout in U.S. stock market history in July.

Within about a year, Facebook has lost several top executives at its biggest acquired properties.

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

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