Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, founders of the popular social media app Instagram, have announced that they are leaving Facebook. While an official reason is missing in the announcement, tension with CEO Mike Zuckerberg has been rumored as the reason behind the move.
The pair joined Facebook after the app was snapped up by Facebook in 2012. Despite that, Instagram was still being run independently from the social media company, with the two having control over the direction of the app.
According to people familiar with the matter, Zuckerberg has increased his involvement with the app of late. As Facebook struggles to add more users to the social media platform. He mentioned that the app grew twice as fast under Facebook, which many insiders see as a rather unnecessary comment from the CEO.
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@mikeyk and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people on the team to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’ve loved learning to scale a company and nurture an enormous global community. And we couldn’t have done it without our amazing Instagram team, and the support of @zuck, @sherylsandberg, @schrep, and @chriscox at Facebook – we’ve learned so much from all of you. Now, we’re ready for our next chapter. 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. We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to just two users in a billion. Thank you for being part of Instagram’s community. It’s been (and will continue to be) an honor 🙌🏻
In a blog and Instagram post, Systrom said that he and Krieger are, “…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.”
As the duo departs the company, there are fears that Instagram will be even more tightly integrated into Facebook or even absorbed as part of the main app altogether. As of now, there is no mention of their replacement, so the future of the app is still up for speculation.