Instagram co-founders to leave Facebook amid reported tensions with Mark Zuckerberg

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger

Eight years after launching Instagram, six of those under Facebook, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of the photo-sharing app are leaving the company.

FILE - In this April 7, 2011, file photo, CEO Kevin Systrom, at left, chats with engineers Shayne Sweeney, center, and Mike Krieger at Instagram in San Francisco.

In a statement on Monday, they said they were taking time off to explore their "curiosity and creativity" and start "building new things".

However, as per TechCrunch report, tensions between Instagram co-founders and Facebook leadership has only grown in recent times. He's the most likely successor for the founders, people familiar with the matter have said, though Facebook declined to comment on who might take over.

The app recently introduced features aimed to compete with rival Snapchat, a rising threat to both Instagram and Facebook that has since been quieted.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next", he said in a statement.

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Mike Krieger, left, and Kevin Systrom, co-founders of Instragram shown at the Webby Awards in 2012 in NY. Facebook users also have been flocking to Instagram as an escape, exhausted of the political bickering and privacy scandals that plague the parent company. Instagram has also largely stayed out of the negative glare of Facebook's privacy issues, which intensified earlier this year on the revelation that political firm Cambridge Analytica had accessed the personal data on tens of millions of users without their knowledge.

Spokespeople for Facebook and Instagram declined to comment further on why the executives had made a decision to step down, referring back to Systrom's blog post.

The departures come as Facebook grapples with the worst crisis in its history, vilified for not more zealously guarding information users share at the leading online social network. Similar reports followed the resignations of WhatsApp's founders.

Facebook doesn't break out Instagram's revenue, but it has frequently called out the app in earnings calls. Since then, Instagram's reach has ballooned and it has widely been seen as one of Facebook's most successful acquisitions. Its rapid growth and user engagement caught the eye of Facebook, which was on the lookout for any services that might threaten its dominance of the social network space. Instagram was a bright future for the company.

"In a sense, Facebook, which was once itself an upstart, has now become the establishment", said Stephen Allan, world-wide chairman and CEO of Mediacom, a media agency owned by ad giant WPP PLC.

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