Why Instagram’s Founders Left Facebook + The New Head Of The Company

An iPhone with the Instagram app open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 24, 2018, Instagram CEO, Kevin Systrom, and co-founder, Mike Krieger announced they are resigning from Facebook.

“We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. 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,” Systrom said in a statement.

Instagram was founded on October 6, 2010. On April 9, 2012, Systrom and Krieger sold their 13-person start-up to Facebook for $1 billion. At the time, Instagram had 30 million monthly users. Earlier this summer, the photo sharing app hit 1 billion users.

Many news outlets are reporting there was tension brimming amongst the Instagram founders and Facebook’s founder/CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, over the direction for Instagram.

“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. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next,” Strosberg addressed in his statement.  

In a separate statement, Zuckerberg said, “Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.” With Strosberg and Krieger, Zuckerberg now has total reign of the platform.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal a day after his resignation, Strosberg stated, “the whole idea of joining Facebook was that we could scale way more quickly than we could independently.” Maybe the platform scaled larger than either he or Krieger would have liked.

Adam Mosseri, who used to head Facebook’s newsfeed, was named Instagram’s head of product earlier this year, and when the news broke that Strosberg and Krieger were leaving, many speculated he would be the top candidate to run the platform. On October 1, 2018, Mosseri was named head of the platform. Mosseri has been with Facebook since 2008. 

“To us, the important thing is keeping our community-all of you- front and center in all that Instagram does. We believe that Adam will hold true to these values and Instagram will continue to thrive” Strosberg and Krieger said in a new statement. 

A related article from the Los Angeles Times reminds us that “founders departing is nothing new in the tech industry. Apple and Microsoft have both continued to thrive without Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, namely because the companies had already matured.” With that, we can expect Instagram will continue to be a popular platform even with the founders removed from it.

What do you think Instagram will be like now that its founders are no longer involved with its development? Let us know in the comments.

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