Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have announced that they will both leave the company in the coming weeks.
The pair founded the image sharing app in 2010 after they met at Stanford University. Just two years later they sold Instagram to Facebook for a fee of $1 billion.
As part of the takeover deal, Systrom and Krieger were allowed to continue to run the service independently.
The reason for the departures is currently unknown. Systrom, who was acting as CEO, said in a blog post: “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.”
However, there is some speculation that tensions had arisen between the Instagram founders and their parent company during the past year.
While Facebook struggled with numerous scandals, Instagram’s popularity soared, overtaking its closest rival Snapchat.
Rumours suggest that Mark Zuckerberg tried to have more control over Instagram and attempted to use its success to rescue his own social platform. This resulted in new features being added – like the misfiring Instagram TV – and various attempts to direct traffic back towards Facebook.
According to the BBC, Zuckerberg said in an official statement: “I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”
Jan Koum, co-founder of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, stepped down from his CEO position at the instant messaging app in April this year. At the time, reports suggested that this was due to a data privacy fallout with Facebook.
The person expected to takeover as leader of Instagram is Adam Mosseri. He has previously been in charge of Facebook’s News Feed and is considered to be a part of Zuckerberg’s inner circle.
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