Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement late Monday that he and Mike Krieger plan to leave the company in the next few weeks.
Instagram founders Mike Krieger, left, and Kevin Systrom attend the 16th annual Webby Awards in NY in 2012.
Mr Systrom and Mr Krieger founded Instagram in 2010 and it was bought by Facebook in 2012, for $1bn (£76m). They confirmed their departure in a blog post, although Facebook didn't immediately have a comment on the tension. As Instagram has shown more ads, the average price per ad across Facebook's entire family of apps has declined earlier this year after a year of upswing. Its remaining co-founder and chief executive, Jan Koum, quit the company in May, saying it was "time to move on". Zuckerberg ally Chris Cox, who leads product development for Facebook's main app, gained oversight of WhatsApp and Instagram, which had been given independence when Facebook bought them.
September 25, 2018, 1:04 p.m. AEST Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom has issued a statement regarding the co-founders' departure. It was sold to Facebook for $1 billion a couple of years later, and is closing in on a billion users worldwide - making it the third largest social network on the planet.
"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", the statement said - though several USA media outlets attributed the split to a disagreement with executives at Facebook.
They said: "Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team". Facebook, which is running out of people in the world to add to its product, has become increasingly reliant on the photo-sharing app for its future.
Instagram has largely escaped Facebook's high-profile problems over user privacy, foreign election interference and fake news, even though it is not immune to any of these things. In the most recent call, Zuckerberg explained that Instagram grew twice as fast being part of Facebook as it could have on its own, a statement that many Instagram insiders felt was unnecessary and unprovable. 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.