San Francisco: The founders of Instagram are leaving Facebook Inc. after growing tensions with chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg over the direction of the photo-sharing app, people familiar with the matter said.
The platform has been a hit with young internet users, an audience that Facebook is keen to keep in its fold.
Mashable has reached out to Facebook for comment.
"Kevin and Mike are extraordinary product leaders and Instagram reflects their combined creative talents", Zuckerberg said in a statement.
The Associated Press
"I've learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it", he said. "I wish them all the best and I'm looking forward to seeing what they build next".
No explanation was given for their sudden departure from the photo-sharing network they founded in 2010.
That led to a reshuffling of Facebook's executive ranks, increasing Zuckerberg's ability to influence day-to-day operations.
"Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team", Systrom said. Earlier this year, Adam Mosseri, who formerly ran Facebook's news feed, was brought to Instagram to be head of product.
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Instagram and Facebook have operated independently and the two services barely mention each other.
The New York Times first reported the move. Since then, the service has grown to more than 1 billion users and has of course added plenty of advertisements. The social media giant's shares posted the biggest one-day stock-market wipeout in American history in July after sales and user growth disappointed investors.
Instagram has largely escaped Facebook's high-profile problems over user privacy, foreign election interference and fake news, even though it is not immune to any of these things. "That's what we plan to do", Systrom wrote.
The app's latest product, IGTV, has been slow to gain traction.
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The pair sold Instagram to Facebook for $US1 billion in 2012.
Video content has been a major emphasis for Facebook as it seeks to satisfy advertisers' desire to stream more commercials online.
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