Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

Instagram co-founders resign in latest Facebook shake-up

The New York Times reports that Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned from the company and will be leaving within the coming weeks, placing further pressure on Instagram's parent-company Facebook.

Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1bn, has more than a billion active monthly users and has grown by adding features such as messaging and short videos.

Zuckerberg said in his own statement: "Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents". The app recently introduced features aimed to compete with rival Snapchat, a rising threat to both Instagram and Facebook that has since been quieted.

One of the names being touted as the next boss of Instagram is Adam Mosseri.

Systrom and Krieger were said to have pushed hard for Instagram to maintain its independence from Instagram - something that was agreed upon in the original acquisition - so it's likely that Facebook and Instagram will see much closer integrations now that the co-founders no longer have a say in the app's direction. At the time Instagram was ad-free, with a loyal following of 31 million users who were all on mobile devices - still a somewhat elusive bunch for the web-born Facebook back then.

Given Facebook's slowing growth and newer challenges, the company's leadership saw Instagram as the next obvious golden goose. Every part of Facebook, including the main social network and WhatsApp, are now emphasising Stories, and Facebook is trying to push advertisers toward the still-novel format.

According to a Pew Research Center survey this year, 51 per cent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 use Facebook, compared with 72 per cent for Instagram and 69 per cent who are on Snapchat. "Maybe they apply a small tweak [to Instagram] or find a better way of doing it".

"Those are signs that [Zuckerberg] definitely wants more Facebook influence on Instagram", Williamson said.

And despite today's news, Snap stock is only up by a little more than 1%. It also allows users to post Instagram photos to Facebook, and prompts users to add their Facebook friends on Instagram.

Instagram, meanwhile, has remained a bright spot for the company.

On the news that WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum was leaving Facebook earlier this year, sources told The Washington Post that a power struggle was partially responsible for the departure. CMO Gary Briggs left in January, before the Cambridge Analytica data protection scandal took over headlines.

On Facebook's second-quarter earnings call, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said, "We believe Instagram has been able to use Facebook's infrastructure to grow more than twice as quickly as it would have on its own".

Like this: