Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Instagram Founders Leaving Facebook After Internal Clashing

Instagram chief Kevin Systrom Instagram chief Kevin Systrom announced this year that the company had reached 1bn users Credit AP
Lloyd Bates | 26 September, 2018, 19:16

While it's not uncommon for founders to leave after their company is acquired, it's notable that Systrom and Krieger stayed on for six years after Facebook purchased their platform for $1 billion. But now that its founders have announced they are leaving in a swirl of well wishes and vague explanations, some of the same worries are bubbling up again - and then some.

Worst of all: Will it just become another Facebook? And Adam Mosseri, formerly the VP of News Feed at Facebook, was made Instagram's new head of product.

Instagram accounts for Facebook's fastest growing slice of revenue. But because of Facebook's dependence on automation, the more ads you get, the spottier quality becomes - and the greater the likelihood of repulsing users.

Koum had signaled years earlier that he would take a stand against Facebook if the company's push to increase profits demanded radical changes in the way WhatsApp operates.

Instagram has been a primary focus of those efforts. We've grown from 13 people on the team to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. While not particularly revealing, the measurement underscores the growing importance Facebook places on those secondary apps.

Either way, their departures now mean that the founders of Facebook's three largest acquisitions - Instagram, WhatsApp and the virtual reality (VR) firm Oculus - have now all left the social media giant, The Daily Telegraph reports.

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The two built Instagram and sold it to Facebook for $1 billion six years ago. And it was the first startup allowed to operate mostly independently.

If you're a fan of Instagram, and many hundreds of millions of you are, there are plenty of reasons to be anxious about a pair of resignations that came out of nowhere Monday night, sent tech Twitter into a tizzy and signaled the arrival of a significant new chapter for the biggest social networking company on the planet.

The departures are a challenge for Facebook.

Recently, Instagram has been on a roll. The company has proclaimed what it believes is a major and permanent shift of people's behaviour towards "stories", the short videos-plus-photos diaries that Snapchat pioneered and that Instagram copied to much success.

Shares of Snap, an Instagram rival, rose more than 2 percent on the news.

"To the extent that their departures represent Zuckerberg exercising more power and being less accountable, such a development would underscore the need for an independent board chair", said Jonas Kron, senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management. "He knows that a large part of Instagram's popularity is that it's separate from Facebook". He's now head of product, and has a CV that some of Instagram's loyal users might find ominous - he was formerly in charge of Facebook's Newsfeed. "That'll go a long way", he said.

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