Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned and will leave its photo-sharing app with Facebook this coming weeks.
The New York Times broke the news last evening that the pair advised Instagram and Facebook leadership of their plans to leave.
According to unnamed sources, Systrom and Krieger kept mum on their reason for departure. They said the CEO and CTO, respectively, want to take some time off.
Systrom, also the chief executive officer, confirmed in the photo-sharing app’s official blog.
“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.”
The latest exits have a heavy bearing on Instagram’s future, as parent company Facebook is facing pounding issues over the past two years.
People are throwing stones against Facebook. Some critics say the social network has mishandled user data, allowed fake news to proliferate, and tolerated foreigners to interfere with local and international political scenes.
With more than two billion active users to monitor, Facebook has its hands full and the recent issues are taking a toll on its business.
Although it still managed to beat market estimates on its recent quarterly financial report, the company admitted that ad sales and user registration fell.
Instagram has been a major success story among Facebook acquisitions. After Facebook bought it for around $1 billion in 2012, the platform ballooned from 30 million users to 400 million active users.
A brief history
Instagram started in 2010 as a check-in app called Burbn. Systrom and Krieger teamed up, retooled and renamed it Instagram.
The photo-sharing app immediately caught the eyes of Silicon Valley. It maximized the use of regular smartphone cameras, helping ordinary people turn into amateur photographers. It pioneered the use of photo filters and camera lenses.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw how promising the app would become, so he negotiated with Systrom and Krieger personally.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. It was its biggest to date and happened one month before Facebook’s initial public offering.
Bloomberg Intelligence says Instagram is now valued 100 times more than its $1 billion acquisition price.
Facebook had several other acquisitions after Instagram, most notably the $19 billion spent to buy WhatsApp.
Instagram still stood out among the acquisitions. Facebook saw how rival photo-sharing platform Snapchat was grabbing its young users. Instagram copied Snapchat’s own online stories and surged further in popularity.
The exits of Systrom and Krieger has muddled the future of the company. Facebook has yet to announce their replacements. We have yet to see if the new heads can continue the app’s success streak.
We will keep you posted.