Blow to Facebook as Instagram co-founders quit to 'build new things'

(c) Sky News 2018: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/instagram-co-founders-resign-after-eight-years-11507926">Blow to Facebook as Instagram co-founders quit to 'build new things'</a>
 

The co-founders of Instagram have announced they are quitting the social media company.

Kevin Systrom, the chief executive officer, and Mike Krieger, chief technical officer, will step down from Instagram in the next few weeks - six years after it was bought by Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) .

In a statement, the duo said they would step down to "explore our curiosity again".

They said: "Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team.

"We've grown from 13 people to over 1,000 with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We're now ready for our next chapter.

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

"We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next."

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

Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger founded Instagram in 2010 and it was bought by Facebook in 2012, for $1bn (£629m at the time).

When Facebook bought it up, Instagram was ad-free and had a following of 31 million people. It now has one billion users.

Their departures will be problematic for Facebook, and follow closely behind the resignation of WhatsApp's chief executive officer Jan Koum, who quit over adverts on the messaging platform.

Instagram has largely escaped Facebook's high-profile problems with privacy, foreign election interference and fake news and has been able to maintain a younger user base than its parent company.