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Instagram’s cofounders are reportedly leaving Facebook

Facebook is reportedly losing the two cofounders of one of its most prized acquisitions.

Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger told Facebook executives on Monday that they plan to leave Facebook in the coming weeks the New York Times reported. Systrom is currently Instagram’s CEO, while Krieger is the CTO.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion, a deal that was criticized at the time, but now looks like a bargain as the app has more than 1 billion monthly users.

Instagram has particularly proven to be a pivotal asset for Facebook as users have grown skeptical of its main app in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year. In the first quarter of this year, Facebook reported a decline in North American users, while Instagram usage on the continent continues to grow. Stories — the ephemeral video format that the company believes to be the future of sharing content on social — are seeing more traction on Instagram, which adopted the format first, than Facebook.

And Instagram is where the company is experimenting the launch of a shopping vertical and its long-form video hub IGTV — the success of which could determine how Facebook is able to integrate those features and potentially valuable new revenue streams into its main app.

Systrom and Krieger’s departure would be the second high-profile departure this year of cofounders of a company Facebook has acquired. In April, WhatsApp cofounder and then-Facebook board member Jan Koum announced that he was leaving the company. His cofounder Brian Acton left Facebook last September.

VentureBeat has reached out to Instagram for comment and will update this story if we hear back.

This story is developing. 

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