Instagram departures hit Facebook shares

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

Chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement that he and Mike Krieger, Instagram's chief technical officer, planned to leave the company in the next few weeks and take time off "to explore our curiosity and creativity again".

It's hard not to worry that the sudden departures of Kevin and Mike means the app is going to slowly become a new version of the overstuffed, clunky, hamburger menu-laden Facebook app you're probably barely using now, if that.

Mr Systrom, who heads the popular photo-sharing app launched in 2010, said they were taking some time off to "explore our curiosity and creativity".

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.

In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion.

When the pair sold Instagram to the social network in 2012, Facebook gave them free rein to run it independently. But in the six years they've continued at Instagram post-acquisition, they have built a money-making giant.

According to The New York Times - which broke the news - Facebook executives were only made aware of Systrom and Krieger's decision to depart on Monday. Concerns over Facebook's business sparked the biggest one-day wipeout in U.S. stock market history in July.

"Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents", Zuckerberg said in a statement. One distinction is that the WhatsApp disputes centered on the debate over whether to allow ads within the messaging service, which the co-founders had long opposed, whereas Instagram embraced ads early on.

Trump says Dems using ‘con game’ to sink Kavanaugh court bid
Democrats have seized on both accusations as reason to delay the confirmation vote for more hearings and a full FBI investigation. Democrats have accused Republicans of not conducting a thorough review in their rush to get Mr Kavanaugh confirmed.

In March, in the week Mr Zuckerberg apologised for the handling of a historic data breach, Facebook ended $58bn (£44bn) lower in value.

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".

Bloomberg noted that Instagram has featured more prominently in Facebook's earnings calls, with Zuckerberg saying it is grown twice as fast as it would have without the parent company.

When Facebook bought it up, Instagram was ad-free and had a following of 31m people.

Instagram attracts a younger cohort of users who are critical to Facebook's growth. The firm believes the app will bring in only $662.1 million this year, compared to its earlier forecast of $1.03 billion.

Since the WhatsApp shuffle, Instagram employees became nervous about something similar happening to their group, according to people familiar with the matter.

What has the social media chatter been?

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