To explore their curiosity and creativity again, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have confirmed to leave the firm. With more than a billion users, Instagram was founded in 2010 and purchased by social media giant Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock where the co-founders continued to run the service.
In a statement, published on 24th September, 2018, Mr Systrom, chief executive appreciated his tenure of eight years at Instagram with Mike Krieger, the chief technical officer; Systrom said, “We’re now ready for our new chapter.” The pair did not provide a reason for their exit, but said they planned to take time off after stepping out of Instagram to build new things and discover what inspires them. They further added to remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook.
Although the pair and Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg had only kind words following the move, several news reported that their departure came at the time of significant change in Facebook with long-running controversy against data piracy, fake news, and election interference.
According to a BBC report, there were tensions between the founders and Facebook CEO, when the parent company purchased WhatsApp. Another report from Bloomberg opined that creative differences over the direction of Instagram after it was forced to copy Snapchat’s module to form ‘Instagram Stories’.
There were several other reports of Instagram founders seeking to maintain independence and influencing the staff on Facebook and Instagram to be less collaborative. The tensions reduced over time with greater integration of the two apps; for instance, Instagram Stories were enabled to be cross-posted to Facebook.
According to sources, Mark Zuckerberg transferred more executives from Facebook to Instagram which led to declination of Systrom’s appearance in product launch and public relations. The source added that the co-founders probably didn’t agree with product decision nor fought for it and simply termed as “natural end to an era”.
Following the news, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reflected the Instagram co-founders as “Combined creative talents”. Appreciating their contribution to the parent company for the past six years, Mr. Zuckerberg said he is looking forward to what they build next.