Instagram co-founders' departure driven by falling out with Zuckerberg: report

Instagram co-founders' departure driven by falling out with Zuckerberg: report
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Two of Instagram's co-founders reportedly left Facebook on Tuesday as the result of a falling out with Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergRohingya refugees sue Facebook for 0B Hillicon Valley — Amazon draws COVID scrutiny Meta exec who co-founded Diem digital currency leaving the company MOREreports NBC.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom and Chief Technical Officer Mike Krieger left their posts at the image sharing app on Tuesday. The two sold Instagram to Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.

The split reportedly came amid Systrom's growing frustration with Zuckerberg's treatment of Instagram.

 "Kevin [Systrom] has been super-pissed-off at Mark," a top Facebook source reportedly told NBC News.

Zuckerberg's move to cease funneling traffic from Facebook to Instagram was reportedly one point of contention among the founders. The two platforms previously enabled a feature that allowed users to post on Instagram through Facebook.

One source told NBC that there was a sense at Facebook that Instagram "could stand on its own two feet."

Instagram's growth helped drive Facebook's success during a year in which the tech company was mired in controversy. Facebook's reputation was hard hit following revelations that Russian trolls had used the platform to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. The company also came under scrutiny after The Guardian reported that a British research firm linked to the Trump campaign improperly harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users.

Despite its parent company’s problems, Instagram hit 1 billion monthly users in June.

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s former head of news feed and current head of product at Instagram will take over as CEO at Instagram, according to NBC.

“We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again,” Systrom and Krieger said in a statement. “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.”

“We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion,” they said.

The Instagram founders' departure comes after the founders of another Facebook-acquired app, Whatsapp, stepped down from their posts, also over reported disagreement with the direction Facebook was taking the messaging app.

Unlike Instagram’s founders, however, Whatsapp's co-creators took issue with how their app was reportedly being steered toward weakened encryption and collecting user data.