Instagram has changed us: from the ways we present our lives and perceive the world, to how we shop, take photographs, talk, and even vacation. Now the two people responsible for those seismic cultural shifts are leaving the company.
The departure of CTO Mike Krieger and CEO Kevin Systrom, who cofounded the app in 2010, was first reported (paywall) by the New York Times.
In a statement, Systrom said the pair were “taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again,” adding: “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.”
Instagram has grown enormously since its launch, gathering 30 million users in its first 18 months. In June, the photo sharing app reported having one billion active users. Purchased by Facebook in 2012 for approximately $1 billion, Instagram has developed a robust merchant community of 25 million businesses, making it one of Facebook’s most valuable acquisitions. Its enormous popularity with young people means Instagram is also growing in importance to Facebook, which is seeing a slowdown in user growth.
Earlier this year, the cofounders of the popular messaging app WhatsApp, which Facebook purchased in 2014 for $22 billion, resigned after reported discord between the two companies.