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25th Sep 2018

Why the Instagram co-founders left Facebook

Alan Loughnane

Harmful online content watchdog

The creators of WhatsApp also left the company six months ago.

Eight years since the launch of Instagram and just six years since it was bought by Facebook, Instagram co-founders CEO Kevin Systrom and CTO Mike Krieger have announced they are leaving the company.

The duo did not give a reason for their decision to leave but are expected to depart the company in the coming weeks.

Their departure comes less than six months after WhatsApp’s founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton quit Facebook, after clashing with chief executive Mark Zuckerberg over privacy and data protection following the Cambridge Analytica scandal which rocked the company.

It leaves the social media company without the developers behind two of its biggest services.

It’s rumoured from TechCrunch that the pair were unhappy with their control over Instagram as their independence from Facebook was becoming increasingly weakened.

In a statement, Systrom and Krieger said: “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.”

In his own statement, Zuckerberg described the two as “extraordinary product leaders”.

“I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 $1bn when the platform was less than two years old and had just 30 million users.

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