Instagram's Founders Are Unexpectedly Leaving 'To Explore Our Curiosity'

Fredrick Soto
September 26, 2018

Following a number of recent reports surrounding the matter, Instagram's CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom announced in a blog post earlier today that he would be departing the photo sharing platform and Facebook within just a few weeks' time.

Systrom and Krieger did not give a reason for their departure, the paper said, adding that they planned to take time off after leaving Instagram.

In a statement released late on Monday, Systrom said that he and Krieger were "ready for [their] next chapter", and hinted that they would create something new. In July, it unveiled a new metric for analysts, touting that 2.5 billion people use at least one of its apps - Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger - each month.

In a statement on Monday, they said they were taking time off to explore their "curiosity and creativity" and start "building new things". They clearly want to build something new, but it "requires that we step back".

"Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team", Systrom writes in an announcement.

Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger, left, and Kevin Systrom, right. "We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next". "Maybe they apply a small tweak [to Instagram] or find a better way of doing it".

Instagram eventually caught the eye of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, who realized how powerful Instagram's nascent photo-sharing network would become, and saw the wealth of photo-sharing activity across his own social network. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is still a drag on technology stocks, which overall have propelled the USA stock market to record highs. The exits add to the challenges facing Instagram's parent company, Facebook.

The resignations came at a time when social media platforms including Facebook were facing intense scrutiny over the spread of fake news and sinister campaigns. A Bloomberg Intelligence analysis in June said Instagram is worth more than $100 billion.

"I don't think Zuckerberg is dumb", Akhtar said.

Koum had signalled years earlier that he would take a stand against Facebook if the company's push to increase profits demanded radical changes in the way WhatsApp operates.

Just before going public Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1bn - considered an eye-watering sum that year - for a less than two-year old startup with no revenue but 31 million mobile users.

Fellow WhatsApp creator Brian Acton departed in November past year with a more pointed message, which he demonstrated by donating $US50 million to a rival messaging app.

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