Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

Anna Jefferson
September 26, 2018

In 2016 it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, a copy of Snapchat's popular "stories" feature.

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. It's unclear what Instagram's future will look like without the original duo at the helm.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg hailed the pair's "combined creative talents", adding: "I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next", Zuckerberg said.

Their announcement came after increasingly frequent clashes with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of Instagram, Bloomberg reported. Market-research firm eMarketer estimates Instagram's world-wide ad revenue will grow 110% this year to nearly $9 billion.

Yet Zuckerberg's Facebook has to make sure it doesn't become akin to a swarm of locusts, moving from platform to platform and turning each one to a husk.

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Systrom and Krieger met through Stanford University and worked separately in Silicon Valley before forming Instagram in 2010. WhatsApp has been building a team of data scientists over the past year, suggesting that it too is exploring ways to exploit user data to generate sales. Its rapid growth and user engagement caught the eye of Facebook, which was on the lookout for any services that might threaten its dominance of the social network space.

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As part of the "old-school in-crowd of Facebook", Mosseri may have exerted pressure for Instagram to do more for Facebook to counter declining teen usage on the core Facebook platform, a source told TechCrunch.

The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company without explanation. Brian Acton, WhatsApp's other co-founder, had already left the previous September. Despite the sale, they remained at the helm of the photo-sharing site.

The institutional investor, which holds more than 52,000 shares in Facebook, urged Facebook in July to appoint an independent board chair to oversee management.

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As such, he thinks Facebook would be wise to reassure users that what they love about Instagram isn't going to change - that they are not going to be forced to integrate with Facebook.

"It's probably a bigger challenge (for Facebook) than most people realize", said Omar Akhtar, an analyst at the technology research firm Altimeter.

It comes after months of chaos and scandals for Facebook. While not particularly revealing, the measurement underscores the growing importance Facebook places on those secondary apps.

Still, any risk from the "over-Facebookization" of Instagram would take time to play out, said Mr. Parker. Now, we're ready for our next chapter.

Their departure is expected in the "coming weeks", Business Insider reported.

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