Instagram co-founders resign from image sharing site

Instagram cofounders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom

Instagram cofounders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom

"Bloomberg cited unnamed sources who claimed that the founders of Instagram were "frustrated with an uptick in day-to-day involvement" by Facebook's chief Mark Zuckerberg". 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. Now, he said, they are ready for their next chapter.

Later, Systrom wrote in a blog post that they were planning on taking some time off to explore their curiosity and creativity. They clearly want to build something new, but it "requires that we step back".

Two years into Instagram's tenure-which began only eight years ago!-the famously prescient Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock, seeing in the burgeoning company the promise of a tech giant.

Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram.

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Instagram had previously been seen as largely autonomous from Facebook's influence.

"Facebook officials, including Mr. Zuckerberg, clashed with the co-founders over growth tactics and how to more rapidly expand the photo-sharing app's user base", the Wall Street Journal reports. The app recently introduced features aimed to compete with rival Snapchat, a rising threat to both Instagram and Facebook that has since been quieted.

At the time Zuckerberg said that Facebook was committed to running Instagram independently, saying "the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience".

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

The founders of Instagram plan to step down from parent company Facebook in the coming weeks.

Though Systrom, in the early days of Instagram ads, famously checked each one personally to ensure it aligned with the app's esthetics, he was not as loudly anti-ads as the founder of another popular Facebook-acquired mobile app, WhatsApp. Instagram is adding 300 million active users each month, whereas Facebook is adding 228 million to its main service.

The Instagram co-founders are the latest in a series of executives who have departed Facebook as the company experiences growing pains, including a data breach that drew Congressional scrutiny.

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United States media reports indicated that a disagreement with Facebook over the privacy of user data may have also been a factor in Koum's decision to quit his position as a high-ranking executive and likely leave his seat on the board at the leading online social network.

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