Instagram founders quit jobs at Facebook

Posted on September 26, 2018


The founders of popular photo-sharing platform Instagram have recently quit their roles at Facebook, with rumours suggesting that the pair had clashed with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg.

Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom announced their resignations from Facebook earlier this week and reports have suggested that the duo’s departure may be down to an increase in meddling from Facebook.

Systrom and Krieger have not revealed the specific reasons why they left their positions as Instagram’s CEO and CTO respectively but stated that they were departing in order to “explore their curiosity and creativity again”.

Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012 for a sum of $1bn (£629 million). Since then, Instagram has amassed more than one billion active monthly users, making it the second largest social network behind parent company Facebook.

In this time, many new features have been added to the platform, such as videos and a messaging service. In 2016, one of Instagram’s most used features, Instagram Stories, was added to the platform, which allows users to add photos and videos to a slideshow located at the top of the news feed that lasts for 24 hours. This initially received criticism as it was a direct copy of the same feature created by rival network Snapchat.

However, since then, Instagram Stories has grown to be twice as large as the Snapchat version, with over 400 million users interacting with the feature on a daily basis.

Instagram was initially created by Systrom and Krieger in 2010 at Stanford University, and gained popularity as an iPhone-only platform focusing on adding photos and editing them with various filters. It gained a million users within two months, and 10 million in its first year, eventually catching the eye of Facebook.

In a joint statement, Systrom explained that both he and Krieger were appreciative of their eight years with Instagram and six years working with Facebook. Zuckerberg thanked the pair for their work stating that he had learned a lot from working alongside them.

Analysts have suggested that the pair’s departure may have been a result of growing tensions between themselves and Zuckerberg in relation to the direction of Instagram under the ownership of Facebook, with CFRA’s Scott Kessler believing that Systrom and Krieger wanted to run the platform they created in a more independent nature than Zuckerberg and Facebook would allow.

GlobalData’s principal analyst, Lynette Luna was not surprised by the departure, stating that the same thing also happened with WhatsApp.

Facebook is largely focused on monetising services and generating as much revenue as possible, which led to advertising being implemented on Instagram and becoming one of Facebook’s biggest revenue generators. This could also have deepened tensions between the two parties.

However, despite any possible behind the scenes tensions, Instagram is one of Facebook’s brightest sparks and will like continue to be for some time due to its popularity amongst the younger generation, a demographic that Facebook has had trouble with in recent times.

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