Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Instagram Co-Founders Resign From Facebook After Alleged Clashes With Zuckerberg

Instagram Co-Founders Resign From Facebook After Alleged Clashes With Zuckerberg

Eight years since the launch of Instagram and just six years since it was bought by Facebook, Instagram co-founders CEO Kevin Systrom and CTO Mike Krieger have announced they are leaving the company.

Some saw this departure as a potential opening for Snapchat, given that the company's app has always been considered a major Instagram competitor; Facebook has even stolen more than a few of Snapchat's most popular features.

Founded in 2010 by Systrom and Krieger, who met at Stanford University, in California, Instagram rapidly gained popularity as an iPhone-only photo-sharing service with a focus on square images tweaked with various colour filters.

Exactly when Systrom and Krieger plan to put in their last days at Instagram remains unclear, and Facebook has yet to name their replacements.

Without the founders around, Instagram is likely to become more tightly integrated with Facebook, making it more of a product division within the larger company than a separate app, the people said.

The app recently introduced features aimed to compete with rival Snapchat, a rising threat to both Instagram and Facebook that has since been quieted. "I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next".

Meanwhile, the co-founders haven't listed a reason for their resignation, but they are planning to take time off after leaving Instagram. Concerns over Facebook's business sparked the biggest one-day wipeout in USA stock market history in July. Jan Koum stepped down in April as CEO of messaging service WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion.

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Within two months Instagram had a million registered users, and 10 million by the end of the first year.

John Lilly, a venture capitalist at Greylock, commented on the departure of the two Instagram co-founders stating, "what an impact they've had on all of us".

As the number of users increased, so has the value of the company. From then to now, the increasing reach of Instagram has proved it as Facebook's one of the most successful acquisitions.

Systrom's fortune is valued at $1.4 billion by Forbes.

Instagram had become a key cog in the Facebook empire as the social-networking giant enjoyed seemingly unstoppable growth and a stock price that climbed steadily upward.

Facebook's Instagram purchase was a relative bargain compared with WhatsApp.

All of this proves that Instagram is hugely important to Facebook's future growth, not least because the brand is still comparatively untainted. It is less crowded than the main Facebook app, and perceived to be a kinder social network.

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