On 23 September, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of photo and video sharing application, Instagram resigned amid rising tensions with the app’s parent company, Facebook.
Previously Krieger and Sytrom served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technical Officer respectively, but as Mark Zukerberg, co-founder and Chief executive of Facebook was becoming directly involved, they began to have frequent disagreements over the direction Instagram should take, although they did not state it outrightly.
“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We have grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We are now ready for our next chapter. We are planning on leaving Instagram 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 wrote on Twitter.
After selling their application for $1 billion, their initial idea of having a photo and video sharing application exclusive to iPhone users was lost as the application became available to other operating systems beyond the iOS. Various modifications were done and other features were added to the application and with time Zuckerberg’s increased day-to-day meddling in the company forced the exit of the brains behind Instagram.
Zuckerberg’s idea of Facebook was to make the application the most popular on earth, with about a third of humanity. “If Facebook were a country, it would have the largest population on earth. More than 2.2 billion people, about a third of humanity, log in at least once a month,” he once told New York Times.
However, this was not the vision Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger had for Instagram. Unfortunately, this is the price they have to pay for selling their company. With their exit, Instagram which is already looking like a combination of Snapchat and Facebook is bound to have various shakeups that would see to the unveiling of new features.
As the application garners influence, it has been the subject of criticism, most notably for policy and interface changes as people have criticised Instagram censorship and the manner at which users upload their contents.
In 2015, referencing the menu or navigation button that is made up of the lines, Mike Krieger said he was “proud that we don’t have a hamburger menu”. Later on, the hamburger menu was added as a feature on the application. Following Zuckerberg’s personal request that a tool which would permit people to post disappearing photos and videos that can disappear after a certain period to their feed, a story feature was added. An additional sharing feature which permits a direct sharing of pictures from Instagram to Facebook was added, later Instagram had a Tv section on the application.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s exit come just months after the exit of Jan Koum, co-founder WhatsApp meaning that the social networks under Facebook are without their founders.