With founders out, Instagram is poised to turn into Facebook 2.0

With founders out, Instagram is poised to turn into Facebook 2.0

Once upon a time, Instagram's association with Facebook was no doubt a coup; these days, you get the feeling that anything associated with Facebook wants to slide down a seat or two, like a teenager embarrassed of her uncool mom.

So what's behind the departures?

While not particularly revealing, the measurement underscores the growing importance Facebook places on those secondary apps. The company also seems to have been initially caught off guard by the news of the Instagram founders' departure, first reported by The New York Times on Monday night. It's fair to say that Instagram could have died as a little start-up in Facebook's long shadow, and it definitely benefited from the discipline, infrastructure and advertising sales machine that it accessed as a semi-autonomous region inside of mother Facebook.

The news comes following months of turmoil and scandals for Facebook, from Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of tens of millions of Facebok users' data to sustained fallout from the spread of Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. They continued to run the image-sharing app until its Facebook acquisition in 2012, the BBC reports. 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.

So what will become of Instagram now?

Why are the Instagram founders leaving?

Yet Zuckerberg's Facebook has to make sure it doesn't become akin to a swarm of locusts, moving from platform to platform and turning each one to a husk.

Systrom and Krieger might be gone, but Facebook can't afford to let the golden egg crack.

WhatsApp's CEO Jan Koum resigned in April.

The two were inspired to create the Instagram app - originally launched just for iPhones in 2010 - by old Polaroid pictures.

Following the WhatsApp departures a series of executives increased Zuckerberg's ability to influence day-to-day running of the previously relatively independent entities. COO Sheryl Sandberg also noted ads have "expanded quite nicely" to Instagram, and it represents a "very healthy part" of growth, which is expected to continue. There are no definitive figures, ranging from $100m to $500m. Its rapid growth and user engagement caught the eye of Facebook, which was on the lookout for any services that might threaten its dominance of the social network space.

One Twitter post highlighted the use of the word "again" in Mr Systrom's "explore our curiosity and creativity again".

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