Instagram's co-founders are leaving Facebook

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger

The co-founders of the Instagram have announced their resignation from the company, amid reports that their departure might be due to an increase in meddling by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the site's parent company, Facebook.

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).

Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. What was a venture employing 13 people grew to over a thousand, but this is the sudden and surprising end for the duo that started it all and we've been left wondering why.

"Kevin Systrom loyalists are probably going to leave", Akhtar said.

"We're planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again", Systrom said in a statement on the Instagram blog. Building new things, he added, requires stepping back, understanding what inspires them and matching that with what the world needs and that's exactly what they plan to do.

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.

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Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, prepared for an announcement, June 19, about IGTV in San Francisco. And when you consider Stories, GIFs, stickers and tons more recently added features, it's clear that Instagram is still, well, fun.

Any sign of instability at Instagram could raise concerns for advertisers, who are spending more dollars to the app as younger audiences migrate there from the original Facebook platform. "I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next". That's good news for investors, but it also poses a risk to the very reason for the success of Systrom and Krieger's baby.

The two were inspired to create the Instagram app - originally launched just for iPhones in 2010 - by old Polaroid pictures. If people go to Twitter to bicker over current events and to Facebook to see what old classmates are up to, Instagram is where they go to relax, scroll and feast their eyes.

Facebook's Year From Hell just got worse and weirder.

The news comes following months of turmoil and scandals for Facebook, from Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of tens of millions of Facebok users' data to sustained fallout from the spread of Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. I imagine the company's crystal ball into its own future would look much cloudier without the growth and advertising potential of Instagram.

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