CALIFORNIA, U.S. - First WhatsApp and now Instagram founders are leaving the company, reportedly amid clashes with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In 2012, Facebook acquired the photo-sharing app Instagram, for $715 million.
For six years since the acquisition, Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have been with the company and have largely been able to keep the brand and product independent.
However, reports have now stated that the founders of Instagram have been growing increasingly frustrated with unusual uptick in day-to-day involvement by Zuckerberg.
The increasing involvement is because Instagram, which today boasts of more than one billion users, has become a key driver of revenue for Facebook.
Sources have claimed that with Facebook now more reliant on Instagram for its future growth, the founders have clashed with Zuckerberg over the direction of the photo-sharing app.
Systrom and Krieger’s departure was first reported by The New York Times.
Later, the founders confirmed their decision in a blog post.
Systrom said in a statement on the Instagram 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.”
Soon after, Zuckerberg said in a statement, “Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents. I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it.”
Analysts predict that without the founders, Instagram is now likely to become more tightly integrated with Facebook, which is set to make it more of a product division within the larger company than a separate app.