Instagram Founders Step Down
Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who launched the popular photo platform in 2010, announced their departure from the project.
“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter,” Systrom said in an Instagram post.
“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,” the programmer added.
Facebook bought Instagram photo service in 2012 for $ 1 billion. Today, this platform is one of the most popular in the world. According to Recode statistics, the average Android user of the Android application spends about 53 minutes a day in Instagram.
Currently, Instagram is estimated at $ 100 billion, which is a hundred times higher than its acquisition price by Mark Zuckerberg.
At the same time, analysts predict an increase in the platform audience to 2 billion people in the next five years.
Such forecasts looked promising and did not foretell the fact that both founders decided to leave the company. According to several sources, the reason for such a sudden decision was the contradiction between Systrom and Zuckerberg, who imposed his views on the management of the company.
For months, Facebook has been at the heart of several major scandals, including the Cambridge Analytica leak and interference in the US presidential election in 2016, but Instagram managed to maintain its reputation and remain a gem in Zuckerberg’s crown. And the departure of the founders raises serious questions about the future of the popular platform.
After Zuckerberg bought Instagram, Systrom and Krieger managed to keep the brand, as well as product and operational independence, while they gained access to Facebook’s resources and infrastructure. According to Bloomberg, Instagram founders did not like the daily intervention of Mark Zuckerberg, who makes a big bet on the photo service in planning the future of the whole company.
For six years, Systrom and Krieger had the opportunity to disagree with some of Facebook’s initiatives if they felt that they were contrary to their vision of Instagram development. Now, after the departure of the founding fathers, Instagram risks becoming a part of the parent company and losing the remnants of independence.
Zuckerberg himself did not comment on the possible reasons for leaving Systrom and Krieger, limiting himself to the standard statement.
“Kevin and Mike are incredible product managers, and Instagram reflects the totality of their talents. I had the pleasure of working with them for six years and learned a lot from them,” Facebook CEO said.
Systrom and Krieger are not the first leaders who stepped down after their project was bought by Facebook.
In May 2018, WhatsApp cofounder Jan Kum left the company amid disagreements with the management regarding the privacy of users. Another founder of the instant messenger, Brian Acton, resigned from Facebook in September 2017. Shortly after that, Zuckerberg’s company was shaken by the scandal involving the leakage of user data from Cambridge Analytica. Acton spoke out against the former employer, urging his subscribers to leave Facebook.
In addition, in March 2017, it became known about the dismissal of the creator of the VR-helmet Oculus Rift, Palmer Lucky. Oculus was bought by Facebook in 2014.