Instagram founders leave Facebook after clashing with Zuckerberg

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Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement late Monday that he and Mike Krieger plan to leave the company in the next few weeks.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement that Instagram reflected the Instagram founders' "combined creative talents".

Instagram founders Mike Krieger (left) and Kevin Systrom have reportedly resigned from the Facebook-owned app.

Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger founded Instagram in 2010 and it was bought by Facebook in 2012, for $1bn (£76m). It was sold to Facebook for $1 billion a couple of years later, and is closing in on a billion users worldwide - making it the third largest social network on the planet. Its user base has since climbed to one billion.

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The Instagram exodus follows resignations from another prominent Facebook acquisition, WhatsApp.

They also come at a time when Facebook's core platform is under fire for how it safeguards customer data, as it defends against political efforts to spread false information, and as younger users increasingly prefer alternative ways to stay in touch with family and friends.

The departure of Instagram's founders comes just weeks after Facebook chose to bring Instagram's chief operating officer, Marne Levine, back to Facebook to become its global head of business development.

Mr Systrom, the chief executive of the app, said they were departing to "explore our curiosity and creativity". "I wish them all the best and I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next".

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Adam Mosseri, who had overseen Facebook's news feed and spent a decade working closely with Zuckerberg, became Instagram's head of product.

Meanwhile, a year ago in September, WhatsApp's co-founder Brian Action left the company and eight months later in May, his partner Jan Koum also departed. The social media giant's shares posted the biggest one-day stock-market wipeout in American history in July after sales and user growth disappointed investors.

BBC North America technology reporter Dave Lee said Instagram's popularity has soared in a period where use of the core Facebook product has stagnated.

Video content has been a major emphasis for Facebook as it seeks to satisfy advertisers' desire to stream more commercials online.

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