Eight years ago, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger came together to form the most popular photo-sharing platform – Instagram. After growing Instagram to 1 Billion users and even helping Facebook ‘kill’ Snapchat, the duo have decided to leave their parent company, Facebook.
The news was first reported by The New York Times and confirmed by Kevin Systrom in a blog post. According to reports by Bloomberg, there was tension between the duo and Mark Zuckerberg with regards to the direction they wanted to take Instagram as the future of Facebook became reliant on Instagram.
TechCrunch sources also indicate that the tension came about due to Facebook’s refusal to give Instagram the autonomy they agreed on as part of the acquisition deal. Systrom and Mark Zuckerberg get along very well but have different opinions regarding the future and direction of Instagram.
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“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again,” Systrom wrote in the blog post. “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.”
Instagram has grown from being Burbn, a location check-in app to become the third largest social media platform with billions of users worldwide after it was sold to Facebook for $1 Billion a few years ago. It has become Facebook’s most successful acquisition but its future is uncertain as it has no CEO, CTO, and COO.
Systrom in a post wrote, “Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,” “We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over 1 billion.”
Mark Zuckerberg also responded by saying, “Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents,” “I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”
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Systrom and Krieger’s exit will highly affect Instagram as it struggles with crisis such as fighting fake news, election interference among others. The social network’s growth will also be affected by its co-founders’ exit.
It might interest you to know that Systrom and Krieger’s departure follows other resignations from top Facebook executives. Jan Koum and Brian Acton, co-founders of Whatsapp have left the company together with Alex Stamos who was the Chief Security Officer.
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Systrom added, “We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion,” “We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next.”