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Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger stepping down from company

The co-founders of Instagram are stepping away from the company in a move that’s seen as the latest in a series of difficulties for parent company Facebook.

The New York Times reported on Monday that chief executive Kevin Systrom and chief technical officer Mike Krieger have resigned from Instagram and are set to leave within weeks, according to unnamed people who know about the matter.

Coverage of Instagram on Globalnews.ca:

The Wall Street Journal also reported on their departures, citing an unnamed person who was familiar with the move.

In a blog, Systrom wrote that they were “grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team.”

He said the pair is planning to “take some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”

“Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs. That’s what we plan to do,” Systrom wrote.

Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, prepares for an announcement about IGTV in San Francisco on Tuesday, June 19.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The pair founded Instagram in 2010 and grew the app to around 30 million users before selling it to Facebook two years later for approximately US$1 billion.

The app now boasts a user base of over one billion people.

Instagram is considered one of Facebook’s more popular products, even as growth slows at the social media giant, according to the WSJ.

Facebook’s stock plunged earlier this year, with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth taking a hit of nearly $19 billion amid a series of privacy scandals, including one involving Cambridge Analytica, which was allowed to comb through millions of users’ data without their knowledge.

As a result of the incident, the U.K. government fined Facebook £500,000 (C$871,325).

Facebook’s stock hasn’t recovered from the hit, either. The stock has fallen to $165.41 after reaching a high of $217.5 on July 25.

Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, speaks at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, June 19.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

As the New York Times noted, Instagram isn’t the only one of Facebook’s assets to lose its founders.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum left the company in 2014, the same year Facebook bought the messaging app.

He had been concerned about the parent company’s treatment of user data.

—With files from Reuters

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