Instagram co-founders Mr. Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive, and Mr. Krieger, the chief technical officer,are leaving the smartphone photo-sharing service in the coming weeks.
The tension mounting Instagram since bought by Facebook six years ago for a billion dollars and regarding Instagram’s autonomy may have lead to their resignation from their posts.
Facebook had agreed to let it run independently as part of the acquisition deal. But in May, Instagram’s beloved VP of Product Kevin Weil moved to Facebook’s new blockchain team and was replaced by former VP of Facebook News Feed Adam Mosseri — a member of Zuckerberg’s inner circle.
Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012 for a combination of cash and stock worth some $1 billion at the time.
Instagram has been a hit with young internet users, an audience that Facebook is keen to keep in its fold.
Mr. Systrom, 34, and Mr. Krieger, 32, have known each other since 2010, when they met and transformed a software project built by Mr. Systrom into what eventually became Instagram, which now has more than one billion users.
The evidence of that standoff can be seen in Facebook, which last year confirmed it was adding a shortcut to Instagram to its bookmarks menu. That shortcut has since disappeared. This year, some Instagram users started getting both Facebook alerts inside their Instagram notifications tab, and seeing a Facebook button with red notification counts inside Instagram’s settings menu.
Instagram in June announced it passed a billion active users, and unveiled a new long-form video feature in a bid to attract “creators” like those on YouTube.
Instagram became the fourth Facebook platform to eclipse the billion-user mark, including the namesake social network with more than two billion users, and the messaging applications WhatsApp and Messenger.