In Brief

Why Instagram’s founders are leaving the Facebook-owned app

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger say they will be taking time off to ‘understand what inspires us’

The co-founders of the social media giant Instagram are reportedly leaving the photo-sharing app, six years after selling it to Facebook for $1bn (£760m).

According to the New York Times, company chief Kevin Systrom and technical head Mike Krieger have already resigned from their positions. They will be parting ways with the company “in the coming weeks.”

In a joint statement, the Instagram founders said they were “ready for the next chapter” and “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”, they said. 

Following the statement, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he “really enjoyed” working with the Instagram founders.

“Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents”, he said. “I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it.”

Systrom and Krieger established Instagram in 2010. They continued to run the image-sharing app until its Facebook acquisition in 2012, the BBC reports. 

Why are the Instagram founders leaving?

Neither Systrom nor Krieger gave a reason for leaving the company, but Facebook insiders told Bloomberg that the two had become “frustrated” with Zuckerberg’s increased involvement in the photo app.

This claim was backed by another company source, who told Tech Crunch that Facebook put pressure on Systrom to help expand the social network’s dwindling teenage audience – Instagram’s primary demography. 

Either way, their departures now mean that the founders of Facebook’s three largest acquisitions – Instagram, WhatsApp and the virtual reality (VR) firm Oculus – have now all left the social media giant, The Daily Telegraph reports.

WhatsApp creator Jan Koum left the company in April following alleged clashes with Facebook management over the handling of personal data, while Oculus chief Palmer Luckey resigned after reportedly funding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the newspaper says.  

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