Instagram founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom have left the company after 8 years being at the helm.

Kreiger and Systrom haven’t given a reason for their resignation, but according to insider rumors, it’s because of disputes with Facebook.
Systrom was serving as CEO, while Kreiger was CTO. The duo had sold Instagram to Facebook 6 years ago, back in 2012 for a whopping price tag of $1 billion dollars. Things had been going along fine, and this partnership seemed stable.

This year, however, due to the change in upper management, this relationship started having trust issues. Instagram’s independence was put into question, which caused quarrels and the duo’s future was in the dark.

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The Instagram founders will be sticking around for a couple more weeks, as they sort their path.  Systrom wrote in a statement,

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.”

Systrom and Kreiger should not feel too bad about leaving the company. Afterall they did get to see the app reach 1 billion users. They also managed to crush their biggest rival, Snapchat, by “borrowing” their ideas and beating them at their own game.

So it could be just that the pair felt they had achieved everything there was to achieve, and just wanted to move on (just saying). However, sources have claimed that Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook and Systrom did quarrel a few times in the past.

Some of these quarrels included sharing pictures from Instagram to Facebook. Systrom disliked this idea and wanted to share the pics within Instagram only. Zuckerburg, however, was planning to change this and wanted users to be able to share their content on Facebook’s platform.

But things had escalated even more recently. Zuckerburg decided to pull down all of the links to Instagram from its site.

There is a concrete proof of Zuckerburg’s and Systrom’s falling out. Facebook had confirmed last year that it was going to add an Instagram shortcut to its bookmarks tab, but the shortcut was removed soon after.

Instagram, for the majority of its tenure, was independent of Facebook’s authoritative regime. Both Systrom and Zuckerburg worked harmoniously, despite the minor arguments. The picture sharing platform wasn’t forced to push Facebook related ads down its users’ throats. Even Instagram’s privacy policy was kept separate from Facebook.

But since Adam Mosseri became VP of Product at Instagram, things started to go downhill. Facebook wanted more from Instagram and its freedom was put into jeopardy.  This led to creative differences between the two parties.

Earlier this year, Whatsapp Co-founder Brian Acton left Facebook to start his own foundation. He too seemed frustrated by the company’s privacy rules. After he had left, he tweeted “It is time. #DeleteFacebook”.

So now the question is, with the departure of the Instagram founders, what will the future look like for Instagram, and its billion users. The honest answer is only time will tell.

Our fingers are crossed. Hopefully, Facebook won’t change things around too much.

Avatar for Fazeel Ashraf

IT graduate from Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology with a passion for writing. When not reading or writing, I can be found listening to rock and metal or playing some classic jams on my electric guitar. I’m also a big fan of horror movies.

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