Instagram co-founders step down from company

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A spokeswoman for Facebook, which owns Instagram, did not immediately have a comment.

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.

They sold the photo-sharing app to Facebook in 2012 for about $1 billion.

Facebook's stock hasn't recovered from the hit, either.

Systrom issued a statement on Instagram's blog, saying that he and Krieger were "planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again".

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said: "Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents".

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Zuckerberg said that he was looking forward to seeing what the pair did next adding that he had learned a lot from working with them. But Facebook has turned into a drag on the group.

The app now boasts a user base of over one billion people. But as regulators have pushed Facebook to improve information safeguards for individual privacy, to combat addiction to social media, and to stop misinformation or fake news, Zuckerberg and other leaders have been under more pressure to monitor units beyond the core social network.

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

Instagram has come a long way since it first evolved from a location check-in app called Burbn into a photo sharing network back in 2010. The executives notified Facebook's management of their plans to leave the company on Monday, the Times report said citing unidentified sources.

Facebook's stock plunged earlier this year, with founder Mark Zuckerberg's net worth taking a hit of almost $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.

Their departures will be problematic for Facebook, and follow closely behind the resignation of Jan Koum WhatsApp's chief executive officer, who quit over adverts on the service.

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