The co-founders of the photo-sharing platform Instagram are resigning from their posts. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger will be leaving their positions at the company in what many see as yet another high profile departure from Facebook. The social media company has been engulfed in a privacy breach scandal over the last few months. Systrom served as Instagram’s chief executive and Krieger was the chief technical officer. The two are reported to have notified Facebook and the company’s leadership of their decision on Monday.
Systrom and Krieger didn’t give any reasons as to why they are stepping down but they said that they want to take some time off from their management duties for the foreseeable future. The two met in 2010 when they transformed a normal software project by Systrom into Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms which now has over 1 billion users.
Kevin Systrom said in a statement that he and Krieger are looking forward to exploring their curiosity and creativity again once they leave Instagram. Systrom also added that they now want to start building new things. Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement too on his wall thanking both Instagram co-founders. Zuckerberg praised the work they have done over the last few years and wished them well in their future endeavors.
Facebook has had to navigate a series of crisis situations in the recent months. The company has come under fire for its handling of user data and overall privacy of its 2 billion users. Recently, it emerged that a private company called Cambridge Analytica had inappropriately accessed and used data on the platform. The scandal has taken its toll on the company. Facebook announced that its ad revenue has decreased in the wake of the scandal. The social media platform also confirmed that the number of active users is now lower. Facebook’s stock tanked after these revelations with the company losing billions of dollars in value.
Many analysts feel that the departure of the Instagram co-founders could be tied to these tempestuous times that Facebook has had to endure. The social media company acquired Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. At the time, the photo-sharing site had over 30 million users. Since then growth has been quite substantial. Instagram’s reach to 1 billion users is seen by many analysts as one of Facebook’s most successful acquisitions to date.
Other founders of companies that Facebook has acquired have also left recently. Just a few months back, Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, the messaging app that was acquired by Facebook in 2014, also said that he will be leaving the Facebook board. People familiar with the matter said that Koum had concerns about how the social media company handles user data.
Instagram was founded in 2010 as a location check-in app. However, it soon evolved into a photo-sharing platform that took advantage of the increasing number of people that owned smartphones. Instagram allows anyone with a smartphone to become an amateur photographer. Since then the company has grown strength after strength.