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Instagram co-founders quit; Wants to explore 'our curiosity and creativity again'

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USA, Sep 25: One of the pioneer of photo sharing and messaging app, Instagram on Monday (Sep 24)said that that it's co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned as chief executive officer and chief technical officer. Instagram is owned by Facebook Inc.

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Photo courtesy- @LizziePaton

According to reports their announcement came after increasingly frequent clashes with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of Instagram. They also come at a time when Facebook's core platform is under fire for how it safeguards customer data, and while it defends against political efforts to spread false information.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. The photo-sharing app has over 1 billion active monthly users and has grown by adding features such as messaging and short videos. The departures at Facebook's fastest-growing revenue generator come just months after the exit of Jan Koum, co-founder of Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, leaving the social network without the developers behind two of its biggest services.

Though Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger did not specify the reason behind their departure, Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post on Monday that he and Krieger planned to take time off and explore "our curiosity and creativity again".

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook released a statement saying that, "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."

Koum's departure in May led to a reshuffling of Facebook's executive ranks. Zuckerberg ally Chris Cox, who leads product development for Facebook's main app, gained oversight of WhatsApp and Instagram, which had been given independence when Facebook bought them. Adam Mosseri, who had overseen Facebook's news feed and spent a decade working closely with Zuckerberg, became Instagram's head of product.

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Systrom and Krieger met through Stanford University and worked separately in Silicon Valley before forming Instagram in 2010. The photo app's global revenue this year is likely to exceed $8 billion.

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