"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart," Malik said in the post.
"I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."
The announcement comes after last week's news that Malik was taking a break from the band's On the Road Again tour because of stress. "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends," the band said on their Facebook.
The remaining members of One Direction—Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan—will continue their world tour as a foursome as well as recording their fourth album, which is set to drop later this year.