In short: Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are leaving the social media company as they want to rediscover "curiosity and creativity," the tech executives said in a prepared statement. The departure from Facebook's subsidiary was amicable, the duo suggested, adding that they're looking forward to seeing how Instagram will continue evolving in the future. "We’re planning on taking some time off," the industry veterans confirmed, describing the move as the start of the "next chapter" in their lives following an immensely successful social media episode. The executives confirmed they're planning to return to the tech industry in the future, having directly said they'll eventually be "building new things."
Background: Systrom and Krieger's departure comes eight years following the establishment of Instagram and six years after its acquisition by Facebook. The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant paid $1 billion for Instagram in the spring of 2012, with the multimedia-sharing platform hence holding the title of its most valuable acquisition for nearly two years. Earlier this summer, Instagram surpassed one billion users, consequently solidifying its position as one of the most popular online platforms on the planet. Whereas the original startup had only thirteen employees, it now employs more than a thousand people all over the world.
Impact: Between the departure of Instagram co-creators and WhatsApp co-founders, Facebook has a sizeable leadership gap at its hands and it's still unclear how it intends to address it in the immediate future. The company's moonshot factory Building 8 has also been without a formal head since the turn of the year when Regina Dugan left it, whereas its recent restructuring spread some of its most senior executive thin by establishing new divisions such as a dedicated blockchain unit. The management shifts come at an inopportune time for Facebook as the Internet juggernaut is now expecting revenue growth to slow down amid its fight against misinformation and could certainly use all of the experience it has to calm investors.