Instagram co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned from the company on September 24 to explore a new creative chapter in their lives, eight years on from launching the world’s most popular photo-sharing app.
In a statement signed by Mr. Systrom on behalf of himself and Mr. Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram said they will continue to pursue their passion for innovation even as they seek to build new things that fit in with what the world needs.
“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. 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,” said Mr. Systrom.
— Instagram (@instagram) September 25, 2018
Mr. Systrom has served as the company’s chief executive officer, while Mr. Krieger is Instagram’s chief technical officer. The duo launched Instagram in October 2010 with the name being an extended amalgamation of the words “instant camera” and “telegram”.
In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for Ksh101 billion, a deal that saw the photo-sharing network site grow from 13 employees to its current workers who range in the thousands.
Whereas Mr. Systrom, 34, and Mr. Krieger, 32, did not divulge the reasons for their departure, reports suggest that tensions have soured relations with parent company Facebook.
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According to Bloomberg, the increasing growth in influence by Facebook and particularly its CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decreased the independence of Instagram.
The 2012 purchase deal was said to allow the photo-sharing social networking service operate independently from Facebook while using its structures. However, the success of Instagram (it is estimated to have grown 100 times over and increased its employees from 13 to thousands) has made it ideal for business strategy at a time when Facebook is facing a sticky patch, dogged by data protection inconsistencies and the shadow of “fake news” hanging over its head.
In the past, founders of Facebook purchased apps have quit following tensions with the giant company’s direction. In April, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Kuom quit the Zuckerberg led firm’s board over disagreements with the social media firm, reportedly due to Facebook’s position on user data.
Mark Zuckerberg responds to Instagram cofounders’ departure: pic.twitter.com/n6flCUvZMQ
— Jo Ling Kent (@jolingkent) September 25, 2018
The Instagram co-founder said they were grateful for their time having partnered with Facebook and wished the companies well. “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.”
According to the New York Times, Mr. Zuckerberg praised the Instagram founders in a statement and said that he wished them “all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”