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Instagram co-founders resign to explore ‘creativity again’

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Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger leave the social media company amid reports of tensions with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Instagram Co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, have announced their resignation from the company, which is owned by Facebook Inc, saying that they are leaving to “explore our curiosity and creativity again”.

Systrom and Krieger did not say why they were leaving their positions as chief executive officer and chief technical officer, but there were reports that their departure might be due to tensions between the men and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger

Bloomberg reported that the men were leaving the photo-sharing app because of growing tensions about the direction of the business since Facebook bought Instagram in 2012.

In a statement on Monday, Systrom, the CEO of the company, said he and Krieger were looking forward to “taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again”. He said they were grateful for “the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team”.

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The pair will depart the company soon, and notified the leadership team of the photo-sharing app and Facebook on Monday about their decision to leave, according to Instagram.

Zuckerberg issued a public statement about the departure saying he had “really enjoyed” working with Systrom and Krieger.

“Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents,” wrote Zuckerberg. “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.”

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Instagram, which Facebook bought in 2012 for $1bn, has more than 1 billion active monthly users and has grown by adding features like messaging and short videos. In 2016, it added the ability to post slideshows that disappear in 24 hours, a copy of Snapchat’s popular “stories” feature.

Instagram is its parent company’s fastest-growing slice of revenue, but it touts 4 million fewer monthly advertisers globally. As Instagram has shown more ads, the average price per ad across Facebook’s entire family of apps has declined earlier this year after a year of upswing. A new privacy law in Europe has also affected prices.

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The departure of Instagram co-founders comes months after the exit of Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook in 2014.

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