Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger stepping down from company

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger stepping down from company

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

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said: "Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents".

"We're planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again", he said.

"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", Systrom said. Some of the more recent issues affecting the Facebook in recent years include the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the company's failing to prevent Russian entities from spreading propaganda on its service prior to the 2016 USA presidential election.

An Instagram spokeswoman did not have immediate comment.

Zuckerberg also said he was looking forward to seeing what Systrom and Krieger build next.

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Koum's departure in May followed the exit of his WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. 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.

However, another well-known magnate of a Facebook subsidiary, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, resigned from both his company and Facebook's board after reportedly becoming concerned executives planned to undermine the encrypted chat service's security for marketing purposes.

BBC North America technology reporter Dave Lee said Instagram's popularity has soared in a period where use of the core Facebook product has stagnated.

The app now boasts a user base of over one billion people. Facebook's stock hit a precipitous decline in July after an earnings report indicated it had grown so big it was struggling to find new users, and the last few months haven't seen a rebound. "That's what we plan to do", Systrom wrote.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $US1 billion.

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