Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger reportedly step down

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

Bloomberg News reported that Systrom and Krieger are leaving because of tensions with Zuckerberg over the direction of Instagram.

Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1 billion, has more than 1 billion active monthly users and has grown by adding features like messaging and short videos. This internal move was described by a source as one of many created to pressure Instagram to do more for Facebook.

The news in some ways heightened Instagram's importance within the company, as its popularity among younger users is seen as more stable than at Facebook's main platform.

"Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs".

Marne Levine, Instagram's chief operating officer who helped develop the app into a full-fledged business, was moved back to Facebook this month to become head of global partnerships.

The resignations came at a time when social media platforms including Facebook were facing intense scrutiny over the spread of fake news and sinister campaigns. And while Facebook doesn't break out revenue for Instagram, eMarketer reckons it will bring in $8 billion in ad sales this year, more than four times the haul in 2016.

According to a Pew Research Center survey this year, 51 per cent of USA teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, compared with 72 per cent for Instagram and 69 per cent who are on Snapchat.

In April, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, founders of Whatsapp, the messenging service also acquired by Facebook, left the company over reported clashes over data privacy.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, just before going public, at a price that seemed inconceivable at the time - $1 billion - especially for a little-known startup with no profit. That will deprive Facebook of the two key leaders of an app that's growing much faster than Facebook itself.

Instagram has been a bright spot in Facebook's faltering growth, along with the sister purchase of WhatsApp, both of which until recently were run relatively independently leaning only on Facebook's technology. Concerns over Facebook's business sparked the biggest one-day wipeout in U.S. stock market history in July. As Facebook has battled controversy about how it uses data, Instagram users have remained mostly unfazed. Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger have known each other since 2010, when they met and transformed a software project built by Mr Systrom into what eventually became Instagram, which now has more than one billion users.

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