Instagram Co-Founders Resign Without Explanation

The Associated Press reports:

The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company without explanation. Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement late Monday that he and Mike Krieger, Instagram’s chief technical officer, plan to leave the company in the next few weeks and take time off “to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”

“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,” Systrom said. “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.”

Business Insider reports:

Krieger and Systrom together founded Instagram in 2010, and it was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. The news comes following months of turmoil and scandals for Facebook, from Cambridge Analytica’s misappropriation of tens of millions of Facebok users’ data to sustained fallout from the spread of Russian propaganda during the 2016 election.

Instagram has thus far been a bright spot in Facebook’s portfolio, largely (though not entirely) untainted by controversies — but the cofounder team’s departures raises questions about the direction and future of the wildly popular app.

The New York Times reports:

Facebook has lost other founders of businesses it has acquired. In April, Jan Koum, a Facebook board member and a founder of WhatsApp, the messaging app that the social network purchased in 2014, said he was leaving.

Mr. Koum had grown increasingly concerned about Facebook’s position on user data in recent years, people with knowledge of the situation said at the time.

The departures of Mr. Systrom and Mr. Krieger create uncertainty around the app. It is unclear who will lead the company on the founders’ departures, and if that person can continue Instagram’s longstanding success streak.